Informa Markets

Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
January 11, 2016

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

Construction dust: making a difference

news analysisThe Construction Dust Partnership was set up to tackle serious lung diseases in construction. Colin Nottage explains its plans for 2016 and how it intends to ensure better protection for workers.

The Construction Dust Partnership (CDP) has been running for over three years. Since its inception there has been collaboration between experts from the construction industry, health professionals, the Health and Safety Executive and our strategic partners in the unions. We have developed a series of excellent resources that include presentations, handouts and posters for use in the construction industry and have a comprehensive website run through the CITB (see below).

Statistics show that silica is the second biggest cause of occupational lung cancer after asbestos and it is estimated that there are more than 500 silica related deaths a year (over 10 a week) in the construction industry. Over 40 per cent of new cancer registrations/deaths are to construction workers and there are approximately 100 times as many construction cancer deaths compared to fatal accidents.

In early 2015 we published a survey, designed in partnership with IOSH, which looked at levels of awareness of construction dust in the industry. Its findings (see link below) form the basis of our planned activities for 2016 and beyond. Our main activities are based around the following:

Improving the priority given by companies

Linking into the forthcoming silica phase of the No Time to Lose campaign, we will work with IOSH to publish further articles on the CDP, including tips on good practice. The CDP will also engage with senior business leaders to explain the downside of not managing the health effects of dust and also further emphasise the business benefits of a good health risk management regime.

We will encourage employers to engage with their employees and the employees’ representatives to develop good dust control programmes and housekeeping initiatives. This is an opportunity to improve protection and make a clean and tidy workplace something to be proud of.

We will be challenging contractors to request the correct equipment from hire companies.

Improving awareness among workers

Engaging with the workers exposed to the risk is an enormous challenge.

We want to help to promote a positive culture, which ensures that workers who may be exposed to dust risks are provided with the correct information, instruction, training and equipment and are able to raise concerns without fear.

For the longer term we are developing strategies to enable dust control to be better embedded as part of everyday normal working practices. For example, looking to see how respiratory health is more widely covered during training and apprenticeships.

Raising the profile of the health effects of dust with designers

We are looking to encourage more participation from leading construction designers. Dealing with the issue at source is a fundamental philosophy of risk management and is a key objective of the group over the coming years. Initially, we will create some high-level messages for designers but we hope to then develop these into more detailed guidance.

Activities to support our initiatives

In the forthcoming year we will support the above initiatives by:

* Linking with and using relevant campaigns to promote the CDP’s aim and objectives.

* Promoting preventative controls before the use of Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) and where RPE is employed ensure the requirement for fit testing is understood.

* Raising the profile of construction dust at the risk assessment stage.

* Explaining the health and business benefits of good control, cleaning and maintenance programmes.

* Running a series of CDP dust awareness days on construction sites across the UK.

Finally, as a group we never close our doors to innovation and if anyone feels they have something positive to contribute, then we are keen to hear from them. We will only be successful if we engage with the people that are exposed to risk and those who have responsibility for managing it.


IOSH survey:

Colin Nottage is chair of the Construction Dust Partnership



What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


Related Topics

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments