Industrial Disease Expert Welcomes Wood Dust Exposure Study

HSE To Carry Out New Research Into Issue

16.06.2011

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE’s) plans to research the links between wood dust exposure and its links to nasal cancer have been welcomed by a workplace illness expert at Irwin Mitchell.

It has been confirmed that a new study is to be completed by April next year and will identify how safety measures can be improved to ensure more workers are safe from potential harm. The HSE has also said that it will look at changes in the industries deemed to be at risk of such issues, as well as identifying any trends in the reports received by the HSE which may be relevant. The last significant study in to the issue by the HSE was completed more than a decade ago.

Industrial disease experts at Irwin Mitchell, who provide support to workers who have suffered from work-related illnesses associated with exposure to wood dust, have welcomed the move to re-visit the issue.

Ian Bailey, a Partner at the Leeds office, who has acted for individuals and families affected by disease caused by wood dust said: “I hope that this new research will play an important role in not only seeing how companies have reacted to the threats to health that wood dust poses, but also in identifying how more workers can be protected from those risks.

“Having seen just how terribly the disease has affected my clients, I am naturally very keen to see that the disease is prevented.

“Cases of nasal cancer related to wood dust exposure, particularly exposure to beech and mahogany, are not uncommon and the disease is recognised by the Department for Work and Pensions when granting Industrial Injuries Benefit.

“However, the condition clearly can be prevented through the use of proper safety measures including training and protective equipment.

“I hope that this study can help to raise awareness of the dangers as I certainly believe that there is more that can be done in industry to understand the precautions that can be taken.”

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