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The Construction Dust Partnership (CDP) has been launched in response to the issue of construction workers breathing in dust on-site. Initiated by the HSE, the CDP brings together key stakeholders from across the industry to raise awareness, drive improvements and encourage behaviour changes though joint initiatives.

Construction workers are at significant risk from breathing in dust, which can potentially lead to permanent disability and early death. Currently over 500 workers a year are believed to die as a result of exposure to silica dust alone.

Contractors carrying out jobs including cutting plasterboard or roof tiles, wall chasing, grinding, sanding and sweeping are all at risk from dust if control measures are not in place and the correct protection is not worn.

The CDP represents manufacturers, suppliers, contractors, designers, training bodies and workers which have collectively agreed to: target hazardous construction dusts that give rise to the greatest risk of lung disease; improve the industry’s awareness of the risks of developing lung disease due to dust inhalation; identify construction tasks that have the greatest risk of workers developing illness; and work together to agree and promote proportionate controls to minimise the risks.

Heather Bryant, HSE Chief Inspector of Construction, said: “The construction sector has made good progress in reducing the number of people killed and injured by its activities. Just as importantly we need to tackle where workers are unnecessarily being exposed to serious health risks, such as silica dust, which can have fatal or debilitating consequences.”

Projects undertaken by the CDP to date include a series of toolbox talks, road shows, posters and educational resources which are available on the CITB website.