A new report has been published from the HSE assessing Respirable Crystalline Silica dust (RCS) to benchmarking exposure level controls during manual splitting and dressing of slate. You could be putting your staff’s health at risk…

THE RESEARCH AIM

The report detailed findings from research into exposure levels and the effectiveness of current exposure control measures from the slate splitting and dressing process. The research was completed in order to identify and benchmark standards of good control level practices. Read the full report here.

RESEARCH FINDINGS

In the research, worker’s exposure levels and exposure control measures were recorded, which brought to light that some slate splitting process tasks (where no control measures were in place) were responsible for Respirable Crystalline Silica RCS. This subsequently identified an opportunity for the HSE’s guidance to be improved, thus providing clearer exposure control guidance. 

The HSE updated their guidance in their COSHH essentials for stone workers: Silica ‘ST6: Slate Splitting Manual’ and ‘ST7 Dressing slate (edge bevelling)’.

WHAT IS RCS?

Respirable crystalline silica dust (RCS) is a contributes to occupational lung disease and continued exposure can cause serious health implications, such as silicosis, lung cancer and; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Workers in quarries are at particular risk of RCS if there are no effective exposure measures in place. Read more about ‘The Dangers of Silica Dust in the Construction Industry‘ here.

HOW TO CONTROL EXPOSURE LEVELS

The report concludes, that with the addition of engineering controls, such as local exhaust ventilation (LEV), has helped reduced worker’s exposures to RCS. However, it’s advised that for LEV systems that return cleaned and filtered air back to the workplace would benefit from pressure gauges and alarms to notify employees when filters need cleaning or replacing. 

Auto Extract Systems Ltd assist companies in reducing RCS exposure in their workplace. We offer free site assessments and have numerous solution methods, including tubular extraction arms and hose extraction arms to help provide a pollution-free workplace.

Contact us via email, or call us today for a no-obligation discussion on +(0)1942 267444; in addition, keep in touch with us on our social media channels: FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn for updates.

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