As the name would indicate, silica is not asbestos. Silica, or more importantly, respirable crystalline silica (RCS) is the dust released when materials made of or containing silica are worked on. It is potentially just as harmful as asbestos in that it can affect the respiratory system of the body, it also tends to affect a similar group as asbestos, the trades.
Silica dust can become airborne with very little effort. Silica can be found in most rocks, also in materials such as concrete, brick, plaster, and even some plastics. Actions such as drilling, sanding, cutting etc can result in enormous amounts of breathable or 'respirable' dust being released, a lot of this dust is not visible in normal lighting and due to its small size, can easily be drawn down into the lungs.
The UK currently sees around 500 deaths per year from diseases relating to silica exposure.
With a small amount of training and general awareness, the issue of silica exposure could be a thing of the past.
Training for working with silica is not too dissimilar to that required for working with asbestos. In the case of silica, the regulation followed is CoSHH.
Take our low cost e-learning course to better understand what needs to be done. For as little as £10, you could be protected.
Alternatively, if you would like a more involved course, possibly one that combines multiple subjects such as silica and asbestos, contact us.
For more information on Silica, contact us