Union slams workplace dust levels

05 Sep 2011

Dust in the workplace kills thousands of people every year and something urgently needs to be done to force firms to reduce hazard levels, according to a union body.

The TUC has called the assessment standards imposed on firms "totally inadequate", and has produced guidance for union reps stating there is "clear evidence" that limits imposed on UK firms restricting respirable dust levels should be set much lower.

Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said: "Each and every one of these thousands of deaths caused by dusts is avoidable. Given the scale of the problem, we need an urgent examination of both the current standards and their enforcement."

The TUC said at current legal levels, dust often found in the workplace comprising substances such as silica, coal dust, talc and kaolin could be causing reduced lung functions in workers, with worrying prospects for future health.

Copyright Press Association 2011

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