On Thursday 25th June 2015 the Deep Breath: Construction Dust Seminar took place at the newly renamed Starlight Point, Heathrow and was attended by over 100 Ferrovial Agroman employees, representatives from Heathrow Airport Ltd, suppliers and delivery integrators at Q6.
It was the first event of its kind and coincides with the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) publication on construction dusts, silica in particular, which states that they can, “seriously damage your health and some types can eventually even kill. Regularly breathing these dusts over a long time can therefore cause life-changing lung diseases.” The seminar was designed to inform, educate and raise awareness on the risks of different types of construction dusts as well as to provide training on preventative measures and the long-term effects of exposure. Health and Safety Director at Ferrovial Agroman UK and Ireland Robert Hackett presented during one of the sessions and said that, “for too long the industry has responded to safety with a capital ‘S’ and health with a small ‘h’. With events such as today’s ‘Deep Breath’ seminar we are beginning to readdress the balance and are committed to continually raising the occupational ill health awareness of all those who work with us, so that we can deliver healthier as well as safer projects for the future”. The event was led by Q6 Health and Safety Manager Brian Barrett and coordinated by Pamela Sherwood, Q6 Health and Safety Advisor, for the Q6 Project at Heathrow Airport, with support from the whole team. Brian Barrett said of the seminar, “’Deep Breath’ breathes new life into health. The industry focus on safety places health in the shadows. Events like today support the message of health with safety and tackle the perception of health being the elephant in the room”. Among the attending suppliers was WSP (Design Consultants at Q6), who opened the seminar with a conference and live demonstration of face-fit testing, a process which ensures the dust mask fits securely to the face. Other suppliers who exhibited and held interactive activities were Bosch, Hilti, Park Health and Safety, JSP, Milwaukee and Duradiamond.