The Construction Dust Partnership (CDP) was created by HSE due to an investigation showing that many construction workers were at a risk of developing diseases such as lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. The partnership raises awareness and promotes the prevention of the health risks caused by construction dust.
Construction workers that are exposed to even a small amount of silica dust, wood dusts or gypsum (found in plasterboard) are at risk, and because the diseases can take a long period of time to start affecting the worker, it often means that when the disease is detected it is too late to reverse the damage done to the lungs. It is said that there were 100 times as many deaths due to work-related diseases than the 39 fatal injuries at work between 2012 and 2013.
The CDP represent suppliers, manufactures, trade associations, clients, contractors, designers, training bodies, occupational health organisations and workers. The CDP will encourage a big change in how any tasks that generate a dangerous level of dust, such as cutting paving slabs, kerbstones or roof tiles, are dealt with within the hierarchy of controls. An example would be working with the designers to create solutions that eliminate and reduce the dust exposure before the work commences.
The CDP have created a series of toolbox talks, road shows, posters and educational resources that aim to provide guidance on issues such as on-tool extraction and choosing adequate respiratory protective equipment. All this aims towards making it simpler for employers and employees to tackle construction dust and allow all construction workers to live longer and healthier lives.