BOHS is pleased to be working in collaboration with IOSH and HSE on an initiative to highlight the hazards of respirable crystalline silica.  Crystalline silica is estimated to be the second biggest work-related cancer and causes the deaths of around 800 people each year.

The initiative features ‘Spotlight on Silica’ presentations and will be launched at the IOSH Midland Branch meeting on 2nd June 2016. The content of the talks will include:

  • The health risks from respirable dust; the scale of the problem; and findings from a focus group and recent survey (from an IOSH speaker)
  • The critical role of occupational hygiene in protecting workers from respirable silica dust, and how this fits with the related disciplines of occupational health and wellbeing (from a BOHS speaker)
  • The HSE presentation will underline priority areas and high risk activities, and show examples of good control practices, whilst highlighting available resources (from a HSE speaker)

This initiative ties in very closely with BOHS’ current campaign, Breathe Freely, which offers a wide range of free resources to help construction managers to protect workers from silica and other hazards. These resources include: the Construction Manager’s Toolkit and the new HI Standard self-assessment tool, which helps managers to understand what “good” looks like in managing workplace health risks.

BOHS’ CEO, Steve Perkins said “We’re delighted to be collaborating with our colleagues in IOSH and HSE to raise awareness of the dangers of silica – which is a major cause of work-related cancer. As the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection representing the occupational hygiene profession, our expertise lies in workplace health risk management. Our input into these talks will be to explain the crucial role of occupational hygiene in managing silica and other workplace health risks, and where this fits within the broader realm of occupational health and wellbeing. We will also share information about our own Breathe Freely campaign, which offers a wealth of free resources to help managers to understand how to recognise, evaluate and control workplace health risks such as silica.”

Anyone can come along to these events, which are free to attend – a list of events can be viewed here.

If you are interested in booking this talk for a meeting near you, please email your request to