Employers ignorant of deadly silica risks

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has vowed to step up its ‘Clear the Air!’ campaign warning workers against the dangers of silica exposure after it concluded that smaller companies still know very little about the potentially fatal health risks. However, late last year a succession of industry contributors to an HSE online forum on silica risks complained a failure of HSE inspection and oversight was leading to widespread abuse of safe practices and substantial exposures to the cancer causing dust. The HSE news release notes that as well as the well recognised dust disease silicosis, silica “may also cause Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) as well as cancer.”

HSE news release, 6 January 2009. Risks 388.


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