You care about safety and take plenty of precautions, but what are you doing to protect your employees from Crystalline Silica exposure? Crystalline Silica is a natural creation of dust particles from quartz. These particles can be produced in a wide variety of ways, and when inhaled they can cause severe lung damage and a disease known as Silicosis. Not only can the disease be fatal, but it can take hold within weeks.
Know The Symptoms
When exposed to crystalline silica the particles can lodge deep within the lungs and are not removable by coughing or breathing. The dust then creates cuts that scar and stiffen the lung tissue. Some of the symptoms include difficulty breathing, fatigue, and chest pain. In more severe cases it can cause chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis, and even lung cancer.
How Is It Created?
Any time you cut, grind, or break up stone, concrete, or masonry the potential for crystalline silica exposure exists. When these materials are broken up the dust is created. Almost any activity that results in the destruction, cutting, or removal of stone-like substances can cause the harmful dust to enter the air. Often, these dust particles are so small they aren’t visible to the human eye.
How Much Is Harmful?
Even small amounts of silica dust can have serious, life-threatening effects. Recently, OSHA has developed limits for exposure to help reduce the threat it can cause. Also, new requirements have added precautions such as water and vacuums to help reduce the amount of dust thrown into the air. Additionally, air quality must be carefully measured as should the health of those in high exposure areas.
How Do We Prevent It?
There are a variety of ways to decrease the amount of dust that construction creates. Some of these include vacuum systems, ventilation booths, fans, use of wet cutting techniques, and use of respiratory protection. Adding respiratory protection measures are a critical step to any system, as there are always limits to how much dust any system can prevent. At the same time, as the particles are so small, most respiratory protection alone is not enough to ensure total employee safety either.
Prioritize Employee Safety with G&M Services
G&M Services is proud of our employees and the dedication they have for safety in the workplace. We reward our employees for displaying positive safety practices. We incorporate weekly and monthly discussions and meeting to ensure that all involved are aware of how to handle equipment and potential situations that could occur during a project.
G&M Services offers services in the way of concrete drilling and sawing, concrete scanning and FireStop. To get started with us, call today at 410-787-8828 or visit our contact page. Follow the official company page today on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.