Working together to beat occupational cancer – spotlight on silica
The risks from breathing in respirable silica dust are well known, but more can be done to raise awareness. Although progress has been made in a number of areas, the evidence shows that poor control of exposure still exists in a range of sectors.
The event features representatives from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the British
Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who will speak about the issues around silica dust exposures and how they can be managed.
The IOSH speaker’s presentation will:
- explain what silica is and the associated health risks from the respirable dust
- use statistics to highlight the scale of the problem
- highlight the main risk employment areas and the employees who are most at risk
- draw attention to the findings from the IOSH construction dust survey and the silica focus group.
The BOHS speaker’s presentation will:
- explain the critical role of occupational hygiene in protecting workers from respirable silica dust
- clarify how this fits with the related disciplines of occupational health and wellbeing
- offer practical advice and guidance about controlling exposure to silica dust
- refer to the ‘Breathe Freely’ campaign as an example of an initiative that is aimed at reducing lung disease in the construction industry.
The HSE speaker’s presentation will:
- talk about the Great Britain health and safety strategy and the focus on work-related ill health
- highlight priority areas and high-risk activities
- show examples of good control practices
- refer to HSE resources on the website, including getting involved via the Tackling Occupational Disease website and community.
The IOSH speaker will conclude by:
- explaining the important role of safety and health professionals to help inform, educate and support in advancing standards and tackling the issue