Understanding and Controlling the Risks of Silicosis in the Workplace

July 30, 2023by admin0

Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) is a substance present in many common materials like sandstone, concrete, and brick. Workers who deal with these materials risk developing a dangerous lung disease called silicosis. This condition can lead to severe breathing problems, heart failure, and even death.

Here’s how much silica some common materials can contain:

  • Sandstone, Gritstone, Quartzite: Over 70% silica
  • Concrete, Mortar: 25% to 70% silica
  • Shale: 40% to 60% silica
  • China Stone: Up to 50% silica
  • Slate: Up to 40% silica
  • Brick: Up to 30% silica
  • Granite: Up to 30% silica
  • Ironstone: Up to 15% silica
  • Basalt, Dolerite: Up to 5% silica
  • Limestone, Chalk, Marble: Up to 2% silica (but sometimes more)

Workers are especially at risk in industries like quarrying, stonemasonry, construction, and those that use silica flour to manufacture products. To protect these workers, UK regulations limit exposure to RCS to an average of 0.1 mg/m3 over an 8-hour workday.

At Safety Inspectors UK Ltd, we help businesses manage this risk. We offer services such as:

  • Risk assessments: We identify the risk areas in your workplace and suggest measures to control exposure to RCS.
  • Safety training programs: We educate your employees about the risks of RCS exposure and train them on safe work practices.
  • Regulatory compliance guidance: We provide advice on meeting regulatory requirements and avoiding penalties.

Regular health checks are crucial for workers regularly exposed to RCS. Our team can help organise and manage this process, ensuring your workers stay safe and healthy.

To learn more about our services, watch the HSE video case study featuring Terry, a former stoneworker suffering from silicosis. His story illustrates the importance of safety measures in workplaces dealing with RCS.

For support in protecting your workers from RCS exposure and silicosis, contact Safety Inspectors UK Ltd. Our expertise and resources are at your disposal to create a safer and healthier work environment.

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