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ROOFING FEDERATION TAKE ACTION ON SILICA DUST

NFRC spell out methods of roof tile cutting to protect against silica dust

The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) has announced that from 1st October 2012 contractors will no longer have the option of using a cut-off saw to dry cut valley tiles.

To reduce risks from silica dust the industry will specify that water suppression should be used where a cut-off saw is used for cutting valley tiles. This is in addition to the correct RPE and is in line with the controls currently in use for cutting tiles in other sections of the roof.

Silica dust levels much higher than published safety limits

Contractors will have the option of using other methods as long as they can “demonstrate these are equally as effective at controlling the silica risk”.

The changes to working methods result from recent work by HSE to monitor the exposure of roofers to silica dust which has shown that levels of silica dust created when dry cutting valley tiles are much higher than published safety limits.

Silica is a natural mineral present in large amounts in many construction materials. The silica is broken into very fine dust (Respirable Crystalline Silica or RCS) during common tasks such as cutting. Regularly breathing in this dust can cause serious lung disease such as silicosis and lung cancer.

Recent HSE research has estimated that silica may be responsible for the deaths of over 600 people each year who have worked in construction.

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One Response to “ROOFING FEDERATION TAKE ACTION ON SILICA DUST”

  1. HSE PRIORITIES FOR CONSTRUCTION SECTOR 2013-14 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] control – particularly during roof valley tile cutting and all work with paving and blocks; […]