By Hans Stacey 09/08/2023Under: News and Events / Team Welfare / Health and Safety News
Construction Dust - A Real Risk To Your Lungs
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have been highlighting the dangers of not having access to the correct respiratory protection equipment throughout the summer. Regularly breathing construction dust can cause diseases like lung cancer, asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and silicosis. Construction workers have a high risk of developing these diseases because many common construction tasks can create high dust levels.
These diseases cause permanent disability and early death. Over 500 construction workers are believed to die from exposure to silica dust every year.
Using the correct respiratory protection on site is essential for several reasons:
- Airborne Contaminants: Construction sites often have a variety of airborne contaminants, including dust, fumes, gases, and particulate matter. These contaminants can arise from activities such as cutting, grinding, welding, painting, and demolition. Prolonged exposure to these contaminants can lead to respiratory issues and other health problems.
- Respiratory Health: Inhaling harmful particles and chemicals can lead to respiratory diseases. Wearing respiratory protection helps prevent these conditions and maintains the long-term health of workers.
- Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Regulations and standards are in place that require employers to provide adequate respiratory protection to workers when they are exposed to hazardous airborne substances. Failing to comply with these regulations can result in fines and legal consequences for employers.
- Personal Safety: Construction sites are dynamic environments with changing conditions. Even if a worker is not directly involved in activities that generate airborne contaminants, they might still be exposed due to the movement of air and particles. Wearing respiratory protection provides a personal barrier against these hazards.
- Public Image and Reputation: Companies that prioritize worker safety by providing proper protective equipment, tend to have a better public image and reputation. This can attract skilled workers and clients who value safety and responsible practices.
- Risk Management: Using respiratory protection is a proactive way to manage risks associated with construction work. It demonstrates a commitment to worker well-being and reduces the likelihood of legal disputes or compensation claims arising from workplace-related health issues.
In summary, wearing respiratory protection on construction sites is vital for safeguarding workers' health and well-being, ensuring legal compliance, and promoting a safe and responsible work environment. It's an integral part of the overall workplace safety measures on construction sites.