BSG share opinion on Silica dust in Construction Manager

28th August 2014

Costain is launching new guidance on preventing and controlling exposure to silica dust on its construction sites.

The move follows an HSE blitz on small sites that found high levels of non-compliance with current guidance.

Inhaling silica dust while drilling or cutting products such as concrete or mortar can lead to lung diseases including silicosis, and inflammation and scarring of the lungs. It has also been linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and renal failure.

Costain’s new three-part guidance will be launched on 1 September.

According to Hazards magazine, the UK’s HSE has argued that technological limitations make monitoring below current exposure standards difficult.

But Chris Chapman, head of CDM at Building Safety group, told CM that raising levels of compliance with the current standard is a more effective means of combatting the health problems linked to RCS than reducing the exposure limit to levels that many would find unattainable.

“If you’re using a petrol-driven saw outside, suppressing the dust with water is totally effective. However, the problem is with the people working indoors, who’re using electric power tools and have to use vacuum systems – extraction is less efficient than water.”

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