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HSE targets deaths in construction sector

Respiratory protection is crucial if workers are to avoid picking up serious illnesses such as cancer when working in the construction sector, according to a new report from Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Having recently revealed that some 5.3 per cent of cancer deaths were attributable to occupation in 2005, the HSE has now announced plans to focus on key areas of the construction sector where the risk of serious illness is highest.

It highlighted working with asbestos as the biggest danger, with 2005 statistics showing 3,909 deaths had been caused by this, but conceded that many of the activities involved in this are no longer carried out by workers.

Respirable crystalline silica (RCS), welding and painting were also cited as potential problems for people involved in the construction sector.

The HSE stressed the importance of personal protective equipment in preventing respiratory problems, especially in roles where exposure to RCS is likely.

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