HSE eBulletin: Work Right to protect workers’ lung health

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HSE eBulletin

Work Right to protect workers’ lung health

All workers deserve to Breathe Easy

Living with lung disease has a devastating impact on workers’ lives as well as the lives of their families. Each year, it is estimated that 12,000 people die from work-related lung diseases linked to exposure during their working lives.


HSE is shining a light on work-related lung diseases to ensure employers whose workers are at risk of breathing in certain dusts, gases, fumes and vapours in the workplace have effective control measures in place to protect workers from occupational lung disease.


Employers have a legal responsibility to protect their workers’ respiratory health. Check your control measures today to make sure they are in line with expected standards on how to prevent work related lung diseases.


To protect workers from serious, long-term lung damage, it is vital that employers in higher risk sectors assess the risks, plan their work and have effective controls to protect their respiratory health and Work Right. We have a range of guidance and resources available for those undertaking higher risk work, including:



Spotlight on lung health during Men’s Health Week  

During Men’s Health Week, HSE targeted a number of male-dominated workforces to highlight the risks that exposure to hazardous substances can have on workers’ health.


Through demonstrating the risks in a range of industry sectors, we are asking employers and workers to check the risk assessments and control measures they have in the workplace are effective to protect against work-related lung diseases such as asbestosis, silicosis, asthma, and lung cancer. These diseases cause severe, often incurable, health problems for workers if the risks are not managed.


Exposure to hazardous substances must be managed to protect workers from the symptoms and devastating impact of occupational lung diseases. If you’re unsure of where to get help for the specific control measures needed for your business, our website has advice and resources to help you.  


HSE targeted inspections

Breathing in welding fume and metalworking fluids can cause serious lung diseases.


HSE inspectors continue to visit businesses across Great Britain as part of our targeted inspections programme. Inspectors are checking that welding and working with metalworking fluids are planned correctly to minimise risk to workers’ health.


If your workers use metalworking fluids or undertake welding activities, make sure your business is taking the necessary precautions by visiting our new Work Right website and downloading our top tips and watching our presentation on metalworking fluids. 

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