Silica Dust HSE Safety Measures – Easy Online Management


Silica Dust HSE Safety Measures – Easy Online Management

Silica dust HSE (Health and Safety Executive) is a subject that is at the forefront these days. Virtually every mainstream news publication in the country such as BBC has been covering the on-going debate in the United Kingdom regarding the risks that silica dust poses to human life and the best methods of countering these threats. A lot of focus has been given to the HSE wherein some people want them to tighten the standards regarding silica dust on various project sites while others side with them while they cite the cost and effort of improving safety standards. There have even been many online publications that have categorically gone about comparing the standards of silica dust exposure in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Silica dust & HSE is a highly controversial subject that, we believe, needs further study. Consider.

What is the Controversy of Silica Dust HSE and Why Is It in the Spotlight?

A more technical name for silica dust is Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) but it is essentially silica particles that are more than 100 times smaller than the basic sand particle. It is created as a side product of many basic processes used in the construction industry along with many other industries. In simpler terms, silica dust is generated when any kind of cutting or grinding work is done with industrial sand, plaster, mortar, brick, concrete, rock, and stone. HSE is the government body that is responsible for ensuring that professionals working in environments with silica dust are provided appropriate protection against the health hazard.

The reason why the subject of silica dust HSE has been in the spotlight is that many professionals, academics, politicians, and scientists believe that HSE is not doing its job properly. The HSE has been accused of towing the industry line of the safety standards being too cumbersome and expensive to put in place to protect the workers while similar public organisations in other countries such as the US are taking the opposite path.


Why Is Silica Dust Considered To Be A Health Hazard?

Why silica dust is considered to be a health hazard is a question that can be answered with a simple fact. Every year, about 1, 000 workers die in the United Kingdom because of silica exposure. In addition to this, an even greater number of people develop severely debilitating health problems because of silica exposure.

A more detailed analysis of silica dust HSE with respect to health effects of exposure to silica dust reveals a wide array of potential health problems. Here are the most prominent ones.

  • Silicosis: This is the most common disease associated with the subject. It’s a progressive health problem wherein the more silica dust a person is exposed to the worse it gets. Moreover, after a certain threshold level of exposure is achieved, inflammation of lung occurs which can incapacitate the individual and worsen his condition further. Silicosis can eventually cause disability or even death.
  • Cancer: Exposure to silica dust can result in the individual developing cancerous cells. While the relationship between lung cancer and silica dust has been explored the most, there is enough scientific evidence to suggest that silica dust can also cause cancer of the oesophagus, stomach, and larynx.
  • COPD: COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease which can reduce the productivity of the suffering individual. People exposed to silica dust usually develop COPD after a certain amount of time with the problem later growing to emphysema or even chronic bronchitis.
  • Autoimmune And Renal Diseases: The American regulator Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) believes that there is strong connection between silica dust exposure and a number of autoimmune and renal diseases.

The adverse effects of silica dust has truly brought the subject of into the limelight and the longer HSE will dither in tightening the relevant standards, the more focus this subject will receive. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to wait for the HSE to improve the silica dust HSE standards. You can simply take matters into your hands by taking the following steps.

Using Wearable and Non-Wearable Equipment to Counter the Threat

The best way to ensure that silica dust is no longer a threat for your site workers is to provide them with silica dust masks and other wearable or non-wearable equipment. Proper suits and face masks can make a world of difference. For instance, with silica dust dust masks, you should also ensure face fit testing services to ensure that your workers are choosing the right masks for themselves. Similarly, you could incorporate non-wearable equipment within your systems and processes such as vacuums and water-based devices to prevent silica dust from travelling long distances.

Using Proper Training and Following COSHH

In order to counter the danger posed by silica dust, every site worker will need to learn how to use the provided equipment in the right manner possible especially since the future state of silica dust HSE standards are still ambiguous. Each construction organisation will have to provide its workers with the right training for using their protecting gear and equipment. The company should try to set up silica dust toolbox talks for its employees or, at the very least, give them access to talks handled by the foremost experts on the subject. In addition, the systems must follow the HSE’s silica dust COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations and Essentials Programs.

Maintaining Records Regarding In-House Silica Dust Safety Standards

Just providing the training and equipment may not be enough because keeping records of the same can also be very helpful, especially if you consider silica dust safety data sheet or silica dust Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for various materials with respect to silica dust. Keeping records of silica dust MSDS UK is as important for a construction project and company as saving training records. Keeping such records can ensure that the subject of silica dust HSE never catches you unawares. It is entirely possible for a construction firm to protect its workers from the dangers of silica dust provided they’re willing to make small changes to how they approach their projects.