The Effects of Dust

Each year 1,000s of construction workers contract or die from respiratory diseases due to breathing in dust and fumes. Managing and controlling long-term exposure to dust and fumes is a challenge facing the industry…

Why Is Dust A Problem?

Each year 1,000s of construction workers contract or die from respiratory diseases due to breathing in dust and fumes. Managing and controlling long-term exposure to dust and fumes is a challenge facing the industry …..

Many workers are exposed daily, but they only work for short durations on various sites and frequently change employers.

The amount breathed in each day as they work from site to site can seem small or insignificant. In some cases the effects of exposure may be immediate but generally it can take years before the symptoms of ill health become apparent.  Because of this, respiratory risks are often overlooked , misunderstood or underplayed.

The exposure to airborne dust or fumes can result in skin diseases and severe respiratory illnesses (such as occupational asthma).
Asbestos fibres, silica and lead dust are particularly hazardous if inhaled. Such diseases can be totally disabling, causing those affected to give up work or change their employment.

Some industry statistics

Work-related ill health has devastating consequences for individuals and their families but it is very much misunderstood or underestimated.
HSE statistics show that each year up to 7,000 people develop occupational asthma.
4,000 people die each year from asbestos-related diseases.
500 people (and more each year) are dying from silica-related cancers (dust from cutting blocks, kerbs, and other items).
Many more suffer life-changing illnesses.
2.6 million working days are lost to work-related ill health each year.

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