Breathe freely – British Occupational Hygiene Society

BOHS is the British Occupational Hygiene Society, an organisation whose aim is to achieve a healthy working environment for everyone in the UK. Breathe Freely is an initiative of BOHS aimed at reducing occupational lung disease in the UK.

Setting and problem

Occupational lung disease causes significant debilitating ill-health and approximately 12,000 deaths per year in the UK alone. It is caused by diesel fume, wood dust, welding fume and other hazardous substances. Breathe Freely is a campaign is about raising awareness and providing information on how to tackle the issue of occupational lung disease.


Breathe Freely has created a series of toolbox talks, checklists and a COSHH (the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) guide.

  • The toolbox talks form a concise summary of the health hazards arising from the construction industry and how the Breathe Freely campaign aims to address them. The toolbox talks are intended to reinforce expectations of health and safety standards
  • The checklists are developed to help managers on site in managing workplace health risks in relation to COSHH, lead, asbestos and silica. The checklists help managers to pinpoint weaknesses and give tips on things they need to be aware of or have in place
  • The COSHH guide provides tools to help managers recognise, evaluate and control steps to carrying out a practical COSHH assessment on a construction site


The Breathe Freely campaign shows that there are different hazardous substances causing lung diseases. With the creation of the toolbox talks, the checklists and the COSHH guide, Breathe Freely aims to inform construction managers on how to make sure their employees can work in a safe and healthy work environment.

Further information

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The British Occupational Hygiene Society
United Kingdom
  • Hardwood dust
  • Welding fumes
  • Diesel motor emission
Sector / branche
  • Construction