Over 7 million employees breathe harmful fumes and dusts at work on a daily basis, according to a new H&S guide by the TUC.
The guide is part of the union’s new campaign to clean up workplaces and claims that these substances can cause skin and lung diseases, and even fatal cancers.
The TUC plans to use the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999 to target the worst employers and push for on better health standards.
Government figures show that men are more likely to be exposed than women because of the high levels of exposure in construction, agriculture and metal processing. But there are still hotspots for women in hairdressing, textiles, catering, nursing and cleaning.
“The effect of fumes and dusts at work can be insidious and deadly. They can cost workers their health and employers cold lose their most skilled staff, and face substantial compensation costs,” said TUC general secretary John Monks.
By Mike Broad