The health of employees and ensuring safe working conditions are of primary importance to the cement industry. The production, storage, transportation, and distribution of cement can lead to possible hazards that need be controlled beforehand. For this reason, the cement industry is committed to 'Zero Harm', by protecting its workers and contractors aiming to continuous improvement of health and safety practices, behaviours and processes towards a healthier and safer culture at work. Our industry is continuously:
- improving health and safety practices;
- supervising the systematic application of health and safety standards;
- informing and involving employees about the risks related to their activities and providing appropriate training and equipment;
- implementing and ensuring constant medical health surveillance for employees;
- promoting and sharing best practices between stakeholders on health and safety issues.
EU-OSHA 2020-22 Campaign - Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load
Musculoskeletal and muscle disorders (MSDs) are one of the most common work-related health issues and affect millions of workers throughout Europe. As an official partner of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) “Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load” campaign, we recognise the importance of this issue, work together with stakeholders to support raising awareness and to share good practices to create a preventative culture to lighten the load.
In scope of the campaign, CEMBUREAU organised an online event with its members gather information, exchange good practices, expertise, and brainstorm on how the cement sector can further contribute in preventing work-related MSDs. We launched a video showcasing some good practices in preventing MSDs from our members.
Comprehensive Health Risk Study
The Comprehensive Health Risk Study (CHRS) was launched by CEMBUREAU, in 2005. The study is composed of several elements including an updated survey of the literature on the question, a measurement study on workers’ exposure to dust in the construction and construction industry, a toxicological study carried out in two phases, one involving in-vitro tests, the other ex-vivo tests, a European prospective lung function monitoring study and a French mortality study. All studies were performed by a number of independent institutes of a broad range of nationalities. The institutes/experts were chosen according to their expertise in the different areas. The majority of the results of these studies have by now been published by the institutions themselves in independent scientific journals.
The Comprehensive Health Risk Study is now finalised and the following general conclusions were drawn by Greenfacts:
- People are exposed to cement either by coming in contact with wet cement or by breathing in cement dust.
- Skin contact can lead to an inflammation of the skin and to an allergic reaction. Inhaling cement dust can cause breathing problems, depending on the type of dust, the level and the length of exposure.
- The use of appropriate protective equipment largely contributes to protecting workers in the cement production and construction industries in Europe from developing any of these potential health problems.
- There is no convincing evidence of an increased risk of developing any form of cancer in relation to Portland cement exposure consistent over a variety of geographic and demographic conditions.
- CEDEFOP – European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training
- ECHA – European Chemicals Agency
- ELA – European Labour Authority
- EU-OSHA – European Occupational Safety and Health Agency
- European Commission, Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
- European Commission – Health and safety at work is everybody’s business Practical guidance for employers
- EUROFOUND – European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions
- Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) Health Management Handbook: Addressing occupational exposures in the cement industry.
- Safety in the Cement Industry: Guidelines for measuring and reporting