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Construction Dust Partnership

Find out more about the Construction Dust Partnership (CDP), an industry collaboration directly involving many organisations, including the HSE.

These web pages have been developed by the Construction Dust Partnership (CDP) to help contractors, employers, operatives and others manage the risk of exposure to dusts and raise awareness to this issue within the construction industry.

This guidance represents good practice which may go further than the minimum you need to do to comply with the law.

Each year 1,000s of construction workers contract or die from respiratory diseases due to breathing in dust and fumes. Managing and controlling exposure to dust is a challenge for the industry

Many workers are exposed daily, but often they only work for short durations on various sites and frequently change employers. The amount breathed in each day as they work from site to site can seem small or insignificant. In some cases the effects of exposure may be immediate but generally it can take years before the symptoms of ill health become apparent. 

Because of this, respiratory risks are often overlooked, misunderstood or underplayed. 

Regularly breathing in silica dust, wood dusts and other dusts (with little or no silica content) can cause life-changing lung diseases. Such diseases can be totally disabling, causing those affected to give up work or change their employment. 

Some industry statistics

Work-related ill health has devastating consequences for individuals and their families but it is very much misunderstood or underestimated. 

  • Around 13,000 deaths each year from occupational lung disease and cancer.
  • Estimated that over 40% of new cancer registrations/deaths are to construction workers.
  • Estimated that more than 500 construction workers  die from exposure to silica dust every year….more than 10 per week.
  • Many more suffer life-changing illnesses.
  • 23.5 million working days lost in the UK to work-related ill health each year.

This CDP/IOSH survey provides an insight into issues associated with on-site dust risks and how they are controlled. The findings highlight things industry need to address.

Read Construction Dust - An Industry Survey (PDF 2.0MB).  

 For more information on construction dust read the HSE information sheet  Construction Dust CIS36 (PDF 7.93MB  

The CDP aim is to:

“To raise awareness within the construction industry about lung diseases related to hazardous workplace dust and to promote good practice to prevent these diseases, particularly for those undertaking high-risk tasks”

The membership has collectively agreed to:

  • Target hazardous construction dusts, particularly those that give rise to the greatest risk of lung disease.
  • Improve the construction industry’s awareness of the risks of developing lung disease due to the inhalation of these dusts.
  • Identify those construction tasks that give rise to the greatest risk to workers developing such conditions.
  • Work together to agree and promote proportionate controls to minimise the risks from these high-risk tasks.

2014/15 Achievements

The CDP has produced a summary of its achievements for 2014/15 (PDF, 270KB).

Those involved believe that a partnership between the regulator and the industry can deliver more of an impact than that which could be achieved by working in isolation. It helps develop innovation, drive improvements and ensure consistency.

Agreed priorities can also be targeted and the most effective use made of resources.

This partnership is about more than the odd meeting or joint event. Instead it built upon a mutual agenda and close working relationships with those industry representatives who are keen to play a part.

For more information on these and other areas see our Q&A document on the Resources page

Members and supporters

View some of our partnership and associate members who uphold the CDP’s aim and objectives and assist in awareness raising and promoting control of the risks.


Support material to help you and your team remain safe