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The dangers of construction dust

18 July 2017

To ensure construction industry workers across the UK are kept safe whilst at work, Arco is continuing its efforts to educate business leaders about the long term dangers of construction dust, by offering a free expert guide.    

In the UK alone, 23 new cases of work related respiratory diseases are diagnosed every day. As active members of the Construction Dust Partnership (CDP), Arco is dedicated to reducing this figure by working with both CDP and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to raise awareness and offer expert guidance for customers.  

Those who regularly work on building sites where there is excess dust created from activities such as wall chasing, stone cutting, demolition, drilling or sweeping, are more likely to be at risk from construction dust related respiratory illnesses. These illnesses include lung cancer, asthma and Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease (COPD); however, contracting these illnesses is avoidable with effective preventative measures as well as the correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE). 

As well as offering advice on how employers can monitor dust levels and ensure their staff are safe at all times, the updated expert guide also showcases a range of products available that are designed specifically to help protect construction workers from harmful substances such as construction dust. The guide offers assistance on the types of masks required for different environments including both disposable and reusable respirators, half masks, full masks and Powered Air respirators. The guide also showcases the importance of face fitting and steps employees can take to ensure their masks are being used to their best protective ability. 

Adam Willcock, product and procurement manager at Arco, said: “Construction dust has been dubbed the ‘silent killer’ for a reason, as it’s responsible for an alarming amount of deaths every year. Our updated advice helps to offer employers the guidance they need to implement better safety measures for their staff members whilst at work. It’s also worth noting that supplying your staff with PPE or RPE should be the last resort, instead trying to minimise the exposure level by changing to a less harmful material, using less powerful tools or even introducing water or on-tool dust extraction should be considered first.”