DENMARK: campaign to combat dust on building sites

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Dust from any source is very common on construction sites. It is dangerous to health when it enters the lungs. The Danish Working Environment Authority’s communication and inspection campaign is therefore aimed at alerting craftsmen to the preventive measures they need to take or face immediate injunction.

“When I was working as a craftsman, I didn’t know how dangerous dust was”, says Tonny Hedevang, an inspector with the Danish Authority. As a company manager, it is important to actively remind employees that dust, whether it lies in visible heaps on the ground or floats invisibly in the air, is a hazard on the vast majority of construction sites. Indeed, the deep penetration of fine dust into the lungs can create an inflammatory process that increases the risk of cancer, cardiovascular and lung disease.

The campaign focuses on three good practices that protect employees from dust:

  • vacuuming machines (e.g. saws, drills and grinders) ;
  • cleaning regularly (e.g. vacuuming floors and other surfaces)
  • removing dust from the air (e.g. with an air purifier).

The best solution is to avoid dusty work or to do it separately from other work.

In the first five months of the year, more than 500 immediate injunctions were issued against construction companies that had not sufficiently protected employees against dust-related risks.

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