7 Things You Need to Know About Silica Dust

According to HSE, respirable crystalline silica (RCS), often referred to as Silica Dust, is the second biggest risk to construction workers, following asbestos.

Knowledge is power when it comes to staying protected which is why Skill Builder has joined forces with Scott Safety to create this educational video.

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7 Things You Need to Know About Silica Dust:

1. Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) is present in materials that construction workers work with every day

Cutting, sanding and even sweeping these materials makes crystalline silica airborne, creating deadly Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS).

2. Exposure to RCS can kill you quickly

Exposure to too much RCS, in one go, can cause acute silicosis which can rapidly lead to death.

3. Exposure to RCS can kill you slowly

Long term exposure can cause fibrosis of the lung tissue and is linked to lung cancer and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

4. What you can’t see CAN hurt you

In most light RCS particles are too fine to be seen by the naked eye.

5. It doesn’t take much dust to do damage

Even very small amounts of RCS can do long term damage, particularly over prolonged periods of exposure. The workplace exposure limit is 0.1mg over eight hours.

6. Controlling silica dust at source is a must

Choose tools with decent dust extraction and use methods such as wet cutting and wet sweeping.

7. Any old mask won't do

An FFP3 disposable mask is usually a minimum requirement and many tasks will re-quire greater protection

You need higher performing devices with APF’s of 20 or 40 and ideally a powered air respirator such as the Duraflow from Scott Safety, especially if you have a beard which can allow silica dust to bypass the mask and reach your lungs.