Occupational Hygiene - Silica Dust



Work operations involving stone, rock, concrete, brick, mortar and plaster can create dust including fine silica dust, which is over 100 times smaller than the sand you would find on beaches, and therefore can be inhaled by operatives.


For employees working in a number of sectors, including ceramics, foundries, gritblasting, tunnelling, brick making, mining and construction, exposure to this silica dust, otherwise known as Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS), can be extremely harmful. In fact, prolonged exposure can cause lung cancer and other serious respiratory diseases including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).


The Health & Safety Executive estimates silica dust is responsible for the death of up to 1,000 workers each year – the second biggest occupational cancer risk after asbestos. Are you taking appropriate measures?


COSHH Regulations

RCS falls under The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) which means employers must:

• Assess the risks to employee health within a risk assessment
• Keep a written record of the risk assessment if they employ more than five people
• Tell employees anything significant about the risk assessment
• Consider where practicable substituting material with a lower RCS content Prevent or control exposures to RCS by:

- Following good occupational hygiene practice to achieve adequate control of exposure
- Where necessary, provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Maintain all equipment used as control measures in good working order
- Instruct and train employees to use equipment properly
- Provide information on health risks to employees
- Monitor to ensure that controls are effective and that the Workplace Exposure Limit for RCS is not exceeded
- Where appropriate advise on health surveillance

Services

A comprehensive review of all potential sources of RCS exposure, including:

• Identify exposure groups
• Employee training and education
• Evaluation of mitigation strategies
• Develop, implement and continuously review control measures to keep RCS exposure levels below defined Workplace Exposure Limit

Benefits

• Support to achieve compliance with COSHH
• Improved workplace safety
• Complete solution from one, independent supplier
• Partnership approach for proactive, cost-efficient support
• Wide range of sector experience from an experienced team of professionals
• Global leaders, with access to experts in all aspects of testing, inspection and certification


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Occupational Hygiene
0345 600 1828
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