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Protecting workers: Cracking down on dust

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.

This month HSE are raising awareness of diseases caused by dust. These illnesses kill around 100 times as many workers as are killed in construction accidents.

Here is a selection of practical guidance that can be used to mitigate the risk of dust.

Asbestos essentials uses a series of task sheets, with over 100 full colour photos and illustrations, to describe 'good practice' for non-licensed tasks and covers the action needed to reduce exposure to an adequate level. It is aimed at all workers who may encounter asbestos, including electricians, builders, plumbers, carpenters etc. It will be useful to employees, the self-employed and managers.

This fourth edition provides essential guidance on why respiratory protective equipment (RPE) should be used, what the law says and how to select RPE that is adequate and suitable. It also includes a useful dos and don'ts list for the management and supervision of RPE use.

This guidance is for employers who use or intend to use Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) for example, for dust extraction, powder extraction or welding fume extraction. It will also help suppliers of new LEV equipment. It describes the principles of deciding on, designing, commissioning and testing effective LEV.

All related publications and products are in the Occupational Lung Disease section on HSE Books.

All publications and tools are available on the HSE Books website

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