Poll | How to tackle dust – construction’s next big killer

10 January 2019 | By CM staff

Dust is a major cause of cancer-related deaths in construction and a new Construction Manager campaign, in partnership with Hilti, will be asking how the industry should tackle the problem.

The campaign will include news articles, social media interaction and a round table discussion on 6 March involving the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and leading industry safety figures.

Take the poll below to give us your views on dust risks and how control measures could be improved.

The topics covered in the CM/Hilti campaign will include:

The HSE estimates there around 3,500 workers cancer deaths every year in the UK construction industry, with asbestos and silica the main causes.


I have been ranting on about the effects of all dust in Cons't.when you travel around cons't like I do, it's frightening to see the complete lack of care given to protecting site operatives from the effects of dust,concrete dust,wood dust,plasterboard dust,all const.dust is dangerous.
As lots of people have said in the past the site build time is so tight, it's get on with the job we don't have time to faff about with the correct dust extraction,face masks etc.
The H.S.E needs to take a strong stand with companies who fail to protect their employees eg heavy fines.

Denis Lawler, 10 January 2019

I was left unwell following renovation work carried out in my home by family members because of dust exposure. They had no knowledge at all about how dangerous this is. I think it is extremely important that everyone, not just those working in the industry, are made aware of this so innocent people are not becoming ill as so many people now take on diy renovation work with no health and safety awareness. Perhaps television advert campaigns and poster campaigns all over could help.

Sharon, 12 January 2019

Appropriate comments from both. Too many clothe ears in construction

Sheila, 14 January 2019

i'm delighted to hear that ciob are taking this problem on board. after years working in the construction industry both on site and at management level, the problem with dust control has never been really addressed. it is always the sub-contractors problem; never the main contractors problem. on reflection, i am not aware of anyone been prosecuted for lack of dust control, pollution, damage to adjacent property or vehicles. perhaps the public should be taking action but how does one prove that damage if any was caused by the dust being raised by a sub-contractor. such cases would be difficult to prove and costly. i could rant on about this for ages. glad to hear that the beginning of 2019 is getting off on a rating note.

SEAN MORGAN, 14 January 2019

Cave-man attitudes regrettably still exist in the UK construction and maintenance industry.
As a UKATA approved Asbestos awareness and Non-licensed Asbestos trainer I am in daily contact with the trades who we must respect and care for. The HSE's Hidden killer has been around now for 9 years - UKATA was formed 11 years ago and the excellent IOSH "No time to Lose" campaign is well own yet I find it amazing that many have such low self esteem and poor support that they don't see nor understand the need to protect themselves. Even the most basic dust control hierarchy of avoiding dust creation, control by wetting down, extraction with M-class vacs before face fit testing and use of RPE are widely misunderstood.
I believe we need more site discipline, coupled with good practical training and isolation of those companies who continue to believe that it's "OK providing we don't get caught".
We also need more enforcement officers in very badly resourced Local Authorities and the HSE.

Clive Chamberlain, 15 January 2019

I read the comments and recognise the attitudes and lack of awareness of operatives and the lack of control from management. Recently witnessed a large bonfire on site smoke throughout the site and adjoining properties, totally irresponsible.

Stanley Jones, 15 January 2019

I have been in the construction industry Man & Boy.

Dust is not an unusual issue a lot of airborne dusts are very harmful, I worked in the shop and office fitting industry in my early years during the early to mid 90's with MDF being routed on site everyday. Now knowing that these boards at that time were carcinogenic and causing deaths and lung damage at a rate of Knots.

The industry needs a shake up and people need to be made aware of the pulmonary diseases, that leave people with a long lasting issue in later life. when you struggle to climb the stairs or walk up the street. Client and contractors need to take responsibility.

Francis Chiverton, 20 February 2019

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