Starting today (4th October), Health and Safety Executive inspectors across Great Britain will be targeting construction firms to check that their health standards are up to scratch. The focus will be on respiratory risks and occupational lung diseases. This will hopefully crack down on industrial diseases caused by dust.
The inspection initiative will be a month-long effort. It will look at the control measures businesses have in place to protect their workers from construction dust including silica, asbestos and wood dust. This is part of HSE’s longer term health and work strategy to improve health within the construction industry.
While the primary focus will be on health during this programme of inspections, if an inspector identifies any other areas of concern, including immediate safety risks, they will take the necessary action to deal with them.
Inspectors will be looking for evidence of employers and workers knowing the risks, planning their work and using the right controls. If necessary, they will also use enforcement to make sure people are protected.
More than 3,500 builders die each year from cancers related to their work, with thousands more cases of ill-health and working days lost.
HSE’s chief inspector of construction, Sarah Jardine, said: “Around 100 times as many workers die from diseases caused or made worse by their work than are actually killed in construction accidents.
“Our inspection initiatives ensure that inspectors are able to speak to duty holders and visit sites to look at the kind of action businesses in the construction industry are taking right now to protect their workers’ health, particularly when it comes to exposure to dust and damage to lungs. These are mature health challenges that the industry ought to be managing effectively.”
Industrial Diseases Caused by Dust
There are several industrial diseases caused by dust that we deal with here at The Compensation Experts. These include Asbestosis, Asbestos-Induced Lung Cancer, Mesothelioma, and Occupational Asthma.
Asbestosis and Asbestos-Induced Lung Cancer
Asbestosis is a disease where the lung tissue hardens. Prolonged and heavy exposure to asbestos dust can cause the disease. Asbestosis is a slowly progressive disease; it usually takes between 15 and 30 years to develop, after initial exposure to asbestos.
Exposure to asbestos also has a strong link with lung cancer.
Usually linked to exposure to asbestos fibres, mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining that covers the outer surface of some of the body’s organs. There are more than 2,600 diagnoses each year in the UK; most cases occur in people aged 60 to 80, and it affects men more commonly than women.
Unfortunately, it’s rarely possible to cure mesothelioma, although treatment can help control the symptoms.
Asthma is more than just a condition that develops in childhood. Asthma UK estimates up to 15% of the new diagnosis of asthma in adults is occupational asthma. Susceptible employees include wood dust workers (bakers and cabinet makers), animal and agriculture workers, hairdressers, and people who work with metals or solder flux.
How We Can Help with Industrial Diseases Caused by Dust
Here at The Compensation Experts, we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with industrial disease claims. This includes industrial diseases caused by dust. So contact us today by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable agents.