RR1115 - Exposure to substances hazardous to health in foundries

Tackling the causes of occupational lung disease is a key priority for HSE. Foundry workers are potentially exposed to a wide range of hazardous substances, including, for example, respirable crystalline silica (RCS), metal fumes and dust, that can cause lung (and other) cancers and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

This work was undertaken to understand current exposures to hazardous substances in the foundry industry, to identify examples of good control practice, and to establish benchmark standards of control for the industry.

Many examples of good practice were found, which, if adopted across the foundry industry, would ensure effective control of exposure to hazardous substances. The challenge for the industry is to share and adopt the good control practice identified; this will require positive engagement with the workforce, representative bodies and management at all levels.

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Updated 2021-04-15