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REGULATOR TO ACT ON SILICA CONTROL

Guidance for Inspectors heralds HSE crackdown on silica risk

HSE has highlighted kerb, paving and block cutting activities as a topic for particular focus and Inspector action. 

Serious health effects, such as silicosis or lung cancer, can result from exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS). This is due to the ability of the fine RCS particles to penetrate deep into the lungs.

Kerb, paving and block products are used extensively throughout the construction industry. These products are often cut to the required size using hand-held cut-off saws without proper dust control measures. This results in the operator and other nearby individuals being engulfed in large clouds of RCS containing dust.

Inspectors now have guidelines on enforcement indicating when enforcement notices might be issued if standards are found to be inadequate. 

Research suggests that over 500 construction deaths from silica related lung cancer occurred in GB in 2004. This equates to around 10 construction workers a week and suggests silica is currently the second most important cause of occupational lung cancer after asbestos.

Comment: These guidelines should be read and acted on by all involved in kerb, paving and block cutting. Doing should help ensure that an enforcement notice is not added to the HSE database!

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One Response to “REGULATOR TO ACT ON SILICA CONTROL”

  1. HSE REVEALS CONSTRUCTION PRIORITIES | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] Silica: linking with hire networks to raise awareness of silica and need for control measures […]