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Clean air awareness campaign launches

25 January 2013

The British Safety Industry Federation has officially launched the Clean Air? Take Care! campaign. Developed in conjunction with the HSE and other industry stakeholders, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the dang

The British Safety Industry Federation has officially launched the Clean Air? Take Care! campaign. Developed in conjunction with the HSE and other industry stakeholders, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of exposure to hazardous substances such as dusts, fumes and solvent vapours, which could cause occupational respiratory diseases.

It is estimated that up to 12,000 deaths each year currently could be due to past exposures to hazardous substances. The FIT3 survey, commissioned by the HSE, showed that 21% of employers considered their employees could face a risk of breathing problems or asthma caused by working with chemicals, dusts and fibres. Another survey by HSE indicated that 29% of workers regarded themselves as regularly having to breathe in dust or fumes that could cause respiratory conditions and nearly half thought risks could be reduced. Those using respiratory protective equipment (RPE) are often still not adequately protected due to poor selection, use and maintenance of the equipment.

Resources have been designed to create awareness by offering simple advice to users and specifiers of RPE at different levels in an organisation, to enable them to correctly select and implement a full respiratory protection programme. Thought provoking films and tools, including a guide to RPE, workplace poster and easy-to-follow selection guide, are suitable for small, medium and large industrial companies, and available from www.cleanairtakecare.org. They will also be available through RPE distributors and manufactures.

Dr Bob Rajan OBE, HSE, (pictured) says: "Although RPE looks easy, this is not always the case and everyone has lessons to learn. I am confident that through the Clean Air? Take Care! campaign these lessons will be delivered with the support of stakeholders and distributors. The range of tools for employers and employees will help ensure the important messages get across and are absorbed, bringing about a sustained behavioural change within the workplace."
 
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