Following a two-week ‘blitz’ of inspections by the HSE, where one in three sites inspected were found to put workers at risk of respiratory disease from silica dust, Professor Rory O’Neil from the University of Stirling has called on the HSE to crack down on workplaces where harmful silica dust is putting employees at risk. The campaign, published in Hazards magazine, implores the HSE to cut the permissible levels for silica dust in half, claiming it is second to asbestos in causing occupational cancer. Professor O’Neil calculates that 1,000 workers could die each year as a result of exposure.
Silica dust can cause kidney disease, silicosis, work-related asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease if inhaled and it is created when working with concrete, rock, plaster or stone. During HSE’s inspections, 239 notices of contravention were issued, with work at 13 sites being shut down entirely due to unsafe conditions. The current exposure limit for silica dust is 0.1mg per cubic metre, the same as in the US, however the American regulator has approved the bid to cut this figure in half. In contrast, the HSE in the UK is apparently opposed to the change in regulations, fearing that technological limitations would make the precise monitoring of silica levels too difficult.
Have you been injured at work?
Injuries at work don’t always have to be caused by accidents in the workplace. Conditions such as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) or Mesothelioma can present themselves years after finishing working in a job, but are undoubtedly caused by conditions in the workplace. If you find yourself the victim of unsafe working conditions, either in your current role or in a role you have worked in previously, you could claim compensation for your illness or injuries.
Is it worthwhile claiming compensation?
Many people worry that claiming compensation will open them up to an unpleasant situation with their current or former employer. Organisations have liability insurance in place to cover them in the event of a claim, and if you have been injured due to your employer’s negligence, we believe you are entitled to compensation for your suffering. Accident Advice Helpline has helped thousands of employees claim compensation for Mesothelioma, respiratory diseases and other workplace illnesses and injuries. So call our freephone helpline today on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone to speak to one of our lawyers in confidence. There’s no obligation to proceed with a claim, and we work on a 100% ‘no win, no fee*’ basis, so you really do have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
Source: BBC News