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Working together to tackle workplace dust

Tackling workplace dust

Joint QNJAC/QPT Quarries – Dust Good Housekeeping Initiative aims to raise awareness

A NEW health initiative designed to reduce incidents of respiratory disease in quarry workers has been launched.

The joint ‘QNJAC/QPT Quarries – Dust Good Housekeeping Initiative’ aims to raise workers’ awareness of hazardous quarry dust, such as silica dust, resulting in improved knowledge of control measures and behavioural change across the industry.

How can silica dust harm your health? Silica dust can be harmful if inhaled as the particles are much smaller than normal dust and can get deep into the lungs and stay there, permanently damaging the lung tissue and eventually leading to serious lung diseases in some people, including lung cancer, silicosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Everyone involved in quarrying has a role to play in reducing exposure to hazardous dust, and so the Quarries Partnership Team (QPT) was set up to bring together key stakeholders from industry, the HSE, trade associations, trade unions and training providers to work with one another to achieve this goal.  

The basic principles of good on-site housekeeping often get overlooked. This initiative will help employers to introduce or improve on-site housekeeping, promoting a healthy and safe working environment.

According to the QPT, providing good, clear, sensible housekeeping guidance for the workforce is not about regulations. Simple, low-cost improvements in housekeeping can bring about a sustained reduction in workers personal exposure to workplace dust. 

What are the advantages of getting involved? Taking a proactive approach to good housekeeping will reduce exposure to dust, which will go a long way to protecting workers’ health. It can also lead to better productivity, improving the efficiency of plant and machinery as well as reducing the costs of site and plant clean-up.

To find out more and/or to sign up to the good-housekeeping ‘Statement of Commitment’, visit: safequarry.com

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