As part of their “Dust Kills” campaign, businesses may be visited by HSE Inspectors
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a ground-breaking campaign called “Dust Kills” that will run from 2023 to 2024. This campaign aims to raise awareness about the serious health risks associated with dust exposure and educate both employers and employees on effective control measures to prevent related illnesses.
Dust is often overlooked as a potential hazard in the workplace, but exposure to harmful dust can lead to severe respiratory problems, including lung cancer, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The HSE’s campaign seeks to emphasise that “Dust Kills” and calls for immediate action to protect workers from this silent killer.
As part of the campaign, HSE inspectors will undertake robust and widespread inspections of various workplaces across the UK. These inspectors will be specifically trained to recognise potential dust hazards, identify control measures, and make recommendations to ensure compliance with existing health and safety regulations.
During the inspections, HSE inspectors will assess the effectiveness of employers’ control measures and evaluate whether exposure levels are within acceptable limits. They will also review health surveillance programs implemented by employers and provide guidance on best practices for monitoring and diagnosing dust-related illnesses.
The campaign will target industries where dust exposure is prevalent, such as construction, woodworking, metalworking, and agriculture. Foremost among the campaign’s goals is to encourage stakeholders to implement engineering controls, such as local exhaust ventilation, to eliminate or minimise dust at the source. Additionally, inspectors will assess the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure its proper selection, use, and regular maintenance.
As part of their proactive strategy, HSE inspectors will conduct workshops and seminars to educate both employers and employees on the risks of uncontrolled dust exposure. These sessions will emphasise the importance of proper dust management, including regular cleaning, thorough risk assessments, and appropriate employee training.
The “Dust Kills” campaign is a vital initiative that prioritises the health and safety of workers across various industries. By raising awareness, providing guidance, and undertaking comprehensive inspections, the HSE aims to significantly reduce the incidence of dust-related illnesses, ultimately working towards a safer and healthier working environment for all.