BOHS, the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection, has revealed plans for a brand new Breathe Freely campaign to prevent occupational lung disease in the manufacturing sector, following its original initiative which is well underway, and will continue, in the construction industry.
BOHS successfully launched Breathe Freely, aimed at controlling exposures to prevent occupational lung disease in the construction industry, on 28 April 2015, Workers’ Memorial Day.
Now BOHS has confirmed that Breathe Freely for the manufacturing sector will be launched around the time of Workers’ Memorial Day in April 2017, to run in tandem with the Society’s existing construction-based initiative. With the aim of maximising improvements in respiratory health protection at work, BOHS has confirmed the initial focus will be on the key area of welding activities in manufacturing.
The new Breathe Freely campaign will be launched in partnership with: EEF, the manufacturers' organisation; HSE; The Welding Institute; the TUC; and a number of other leading manufacturing organisations. A wide range of further organisations, both public and private, will also be invited to sign up as supporters and sponsors, in order that the message extends to a broader variety of workplaces in the manufacturing sector, throughout the UK.
To complement BOHS’s construction-based initiative, a new website is being developed, packed with practical, free resources, such as fact sheets, case studies and other tools, all specifically tailored to help employers in the manufacturing sector protect their workers’ respiratory health.
Commenting on the plans, Terry Woolmer, Head of Health and Safety Policy at EEF, said, “EEF is delighted to collaborate with BOHS on this second phase of the Breathe Freely campaign. We believe this initiative will provide important support for employers, in order to help them effectively control exposures and prevent occupational lung disease in the manufacturing industry. It also expresses EEF’s commitment to HSE’s Helping Great Britain work well strategy by taking joint ownership for the management of a specific ill-health issue in the manufacturing sector.”
HSE’s Kären Clayton, Deputy Director of Chemicals Regulation Division said, “Tackling ill health is a key component of the new five-year strategy #HelpGBWorkWell. HSE welcomes this next phase of the Breathe Freely initiative in the manufacturing sector, and the initial focus on controlling exposures to welding fume, which remains a key priority area for HSE. We look forward to continuing to work with BOHS and others on this ongoing initiative.”
Steve Perkins, CEO of BOHS added, “The critical message of Breathe Freely – that tackling respiratory illness is the single most important action needed to reduce work-related ill health and mortality in the UK today – is becoming embedded within the construction sector, gathering both local and international momentum. Now it’s time to extend our focus to the manufacturing industry and ensure the lungs of this sector’s workers are protected as they should be, with the application of cost-effective, practical occupational hygiene solutions.”
Notes to Editors
On 18 April 2017, organisations from across the UK infrastructure sector will take part in a national Stop. Make a Change event with sites, offices and production facilities putting work on hold to focus on how we can work together to build a healthier, safer industry. more>>
launched in early 2017 by the Health in Construction Leadership Group with the support of the British Safety Council. - It is sector-wide programme intended to help improve and promote positive mental health across the construction industry in the UK. more>>
A campaign from HSE protecting people by managing risk in a proportionate and effective way, supporting innovation and increasing productivity.
HSE is seeking to influence the system through the Help Great Britain work well strategy. more>>
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