Workplace Illness Expert Backs Calls For Action On Dust Exposure

New Guidance Published By TUC

05.09.2011

A new report which calls for the standards used to assess levels of dust in workplaces to be reassessed has been welcomed by industrial disease specialists at Irwin Mitchell.

In its new Dust in the Workplace guidance, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has proposed that current UK limits for inhalable and respirable dust should be considerably lower, as there is evidence many cases are caused by exposure below the legal limit.

The organisation has added that its stance on dust exposure, which is responsible for a huge number of deaths in the UK, is supported by non-profit organisation the Institute of Medicine.

Experts in the workplace illness team at Irwin Mitchell, who act for victims and families whose lives have been affected by industrial disease caused by dust exposure, have backed the call for change.

Mark Allen, a specialist at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office who provides advice and support on dust-related illnesses and occupational asthma, said: “We welcome the TUC’s stance on the issue and hope the government takes time to seriously examine current standards.

“Exposure to dust in the workplace can have a devastating effect on the health of workers, yet concerns remain that the standards in place to protect people from the danger are not sufficient.

“One of the worst aspects of dust-related illnesses is that they can be prevented, through both proper training and also the provision of protective equipment which can minimise exposure. Employers and the government need to consider if they are really doing enough to address this issue.”