Dust is not just a nuisance; it can seriously damage your health and some types can eventually even kill. Regularly breathing dusts, especially those from construction and asbestos, over a long time can therefore cause life-changing lung diseases.
According to the HSE 8,000 people die a year from dust-related illnesses.
According to the HSE since 2003 42,110 people suffer from work-related breathing or lung problems.
The construction industry is a major source of pollution, responsible for around 4% of particulate emissions.
- Construction accounts for 5% of employees in the UK but also for 31% of UK fatal accidents.
- The construction industry is a major source of pollution, responsible for around 4% of particulate emissions. All trades in construction encounter Dust.
- The total cost of workplace injury and ill health in the construction industry for 2012/13 equated to £1.1 billion.
- 2.3 million, working days lost in construction due to fatalities and serious illness in 2011/12.
- There were on average around 85 new cases of occupational asthma reported in 2013.
- Estimated 117 new cases of occupational asthma reported in 2015.
- Over 40% of occupational cancer deaths and cancer registrations result from construction.
- 13,000 deaths each year from occupational lung disease and cancer.
- Over 500 each year from occupational lung disease and cancer construction workers die from silica dust each year.
There are three main types of Construction Dust:
- Silica dust - created when working on silica- containing materials like concrete, mortar and sandstone (known as Respirable Crystalline Silica or RCS).
- Wood dust - created when working on softwood, hardwood and wood-based products like MDF and plywood.
- Lower toxicity dusts - created when working on materials containing very little or no silica. The most common include gypsum (e.g. in plasterboard), limestone, marble and dolomite.
RCS is the second biggest killer of construction workers after asbestos.