A 2022 study conducted by Curtin University estimated that Australia's decision to lower the silica exposure standard from 0.1mg/m³ to 0.05mg/m³ could potentially save thousands of lives annually and possibly over 80,000 lives over the course of a working lifetime. In contrast, the UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) contends there is insufficient evidence and cost justification to tighten the exposure standard for silica dust, a known and accepted cause of fatal lung damage.
Hazards Magazine has uncovered that the HSE has removed crucial evidence from its website and claims to possess 'no information' regarding the total number of workers succumbing to silica-related illnesses. Furthermore, there seems to be no intention on their part to calculate the associated costs of one of the UK's most significant workplace hazards.
Read more on the UK government's astounding inaction on silica here