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Arco Submits Evidence to Parliamentary Inquiry Consultation into Silica in Construction

14 June 2022

Arco has submitted evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Respiratory Health's follow-up inquiry into silica dust and its impact on construction workers.

The inquiry follows the APPG's 2020 report into silicosis, which cited Arco's recommendations, including the need to raise awareness of silica exposure and increase the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) resources to support its capacity to enforce regulations and help reduce incidents of ill-health and fatalities.

The 2020 report - Silicosis - the New Asbestos? - summarised the results of the APPG and B&CE's joint six-month inquiry which looked at the disease burden of silicosis, the diagnosis, treatment and management of the disease and the impact on patients' lives. The report also placed risk reduction strategies in context to consider the existing regulations and what more needed to be done to protect the health and lives of the workforce.

The follow-up inquiry aims to investigate advances in risk reduction strategies and to evaluate the practicalities of industry-wide adoption of the latest technologies.

As an active and leading voice on a variety of health and safety issues, Arco welcomes the opportunity to provide expert evidence and continue its commitment to help save lives.

Arco is actively working to reduce exposure to crystalline silica on construction sites and raises awareness through its participation and support for webinars, health and safety events and business forums.

As an expert in safety, Arco also works closely with the Construction Dust Partnership (CDP) to help educate young people working in the sector on the dangers of construction dust.

Adam Willcock, Arco's Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Category Manager, said:

"Respiratory illness is the cause of death and disability for many people, but it is often preventable.

"Construction sites are known to generate high dust levels and workers are often breathing in excessive levels of harmful particles, particularly silica dust.

"We have long campaigned to raise awareness of this issue, working with our industry bodies and partners.

"We welcome the follow-up inquiry and hope the continued focus on silica will make a real difference to workers' lives."