Back to: Silica

EMPLOYERS

OUR INSPECTIONS

HSE will be inspecting manufacturing businesses that use materials containing silica throughout autumn/winter across England, Scotland and Wales.

Inspectors will be checking that workers’ lung health is being protected from the risks associated with exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS). They will look for evidence of employers and workers: 1. Knowing the risks. 2. Planning their work. 3. Using the right controls

For more specific information view the sector below:

Brick and Tile

Foundries

Stone working

IF YOU FAIL TO PROTECT YOUR WORKERS’ HEALTH THERE ARE SERIOUS  IMPLICATIONS

  • Human Costs: There can be a big cost to workers and their families from getting ill through work.
  • Financial Costs: If you fail to adequately protect workers’ health and HSE takes enforcement action, you will need to pay back the costs for any inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  • Reputational Costs: Your reputation could be damaged. HSE places enforcement notices on the Public Register and where prosecution action is taken, cases are listed on the Public Register of Convictions.

THE LAW: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) cover activities which may expose workers to respirable crystalline silica (RCS). There are three key things you need to do:

1. Assess (the risks)
2. Control (the risks)
3. Review (the controls)

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

MANAGE THE RISKS

Manage the risk of breathing in RCS dust when using equipment by:

  • Local exhaust ventilation (LEV)
  • Damping down the dust – water suppression is your first line of defence
  • Where appropriate wear a suitable respirator and ensuring you have a face-fit test for a tight-fitting respirator. You need to be clean shaven for this tight fit type of respirator to work effectively
  • Check your machinery and safety equipment regularly
  • Ensure equipment is regularly maintained.

TALK TO YOUR EMPLOYEES ABOUT THE RISKS

Talk to your employees about the risks and the measures in place to protect them from exposure to RCS dust.