What Is Silica Dust?
Silica is the most basic component of sand and rock. The most abundant type of crystalline silica is quartz but other common silica containing materials include:
+ Concrete, Cement, Mortar
+ Tiles, Brick, Granite
+ Top Soil, Abrasive, Asphalt
Silica is so common that any workplace activity using these materials that creates dust can expose workers to airborne silica and this can seriously damage your health and some types can even kill. Regularly breathing in silica dust over a long period of time can cause life threatening lung diseases.
How Can Silica Affect You?
Anyone who breathes in silica dust should know the damage that it can do to the lungs and airways of a person. Some of the most common activities are:
+ Crushing, Hammering, Hauling, Drilling, Chipping, Grinding or Sawing rock
+ Demolition work
+ Dressing or Cutting stone
+ Hydro blasting, Dry sweeping or Air blowing concrete
+ Excavation, Moving or Tunnelling soil
People who work in these environments are much more at risk of inhaling silica dust and being affected by silica related diseases like silicosis, lung cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
How Can You Protect Yourself From Silica?
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) cover activities which may expose workers to silica dust in which you can read more via the latest HSE Construction Dust Information Leaflet.
The three things which you need to do to protect yourself and your employees against silica dust is assess the risks, control the risks and review the controls.
Other precaution methods include firstly ensuring you use effective Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) and as a final measure, always use any available respitory protection equipment (RPE).
Experts In Silica Dust Exposure
Envirocare can assure you of the highest possible level of service around. Our knowledgeable technicians have gained extensive experience in the field and currently aid several high profile customers in the monitoring and prevention of silica dust exposure in the workplace.
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