Construction micro-organisms: Psittacosis and other diseases from work involving bird droppings

Construction workers may be exposed to guano / bird droppings on some sites. This page tells you how to control this risk and why. You also need to be aware of the general information on micro-organisms.

What you must do

Follow the Assess, Control and Review model. Pay particular attention to the following things:


Identify and Assess: The risk is mainly during refurbishment, building maintenance or demolition work. It is highest where there has been significant contamination.


Prevent: Eliminate / limit contact with bird droppings where possible. Workers with a weakened immune system should not directly do tasks involving bird droppings.

Control: Where the work is unavoidable, control this risk by:


Supervise: Ensure that controls such as work methods, PPE and welfare are effective and used by the workers. Anyone using tight fitting masks needs to be clean-shaven and face fit tested.

What you should know

Breathing dust or water droplets containing contaminated bird droppings can lead to several diseases including:

Updated 2021-08-06