Workplaces containing breathable silica hazards pose a huge health risk to its workers. It is important for companies to conduct silica dust training on workers so as to equip them with knowledge about silica dust safety measures.
Some of the health risks that come from exposure to silica dust hazards include silicosis, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis and renal disease.
Overexposure to silica hazards causes the defense system of your lungs to get overwhelmed causing toxic silica particles to fill your lungs. This disease has long latency and might probably reappear a decade after exposure.
The good news is that instances of silicosis have reduced but with the increased mechanization bringing about potential risks, it would be a great idea to know how to protect yourself with some information about silica dust safety measures.
Conduct a survey
Before a renovation or a demolition, be sure to first conduct a hazardous materials survey. If you are running a construction company, seek the opinion of an industry expert who will give you a detailed analytical report.
This procedure is important as it allows you to determine the degree of exposure to silica dust and it will enable you to tackle the problem more effectively.
Draft up a plan for exposure control
It is your responsibility as the owner of the company to protect your workers from anything that might cause them harm. Your company should provide documents that educate the worker on the risks that silica hazards may cause on their health.
Come up with sample respiratory programs that you can use to develop respiratory equipment’s and save on money. Also provide training to your workers on how they can protect themselves and raise awareness on silicone dust safety.
Use Personal Protective Equipment’s
If you are an employer, you are supposed to provide your workers with personal protective equipment’s that range from safety helmets, footwear, high-visibility clothing and breathing or hearing protection.
There are a good number of industries that are supposed to give personal protective equipment to its workers due to potential exposure to silica hazards.
These industries include construction, jewelry manufacturing, abrasive blasting, painting and coating, manufacture of pottery products and many other industries.
Exposures often occur during the cutting and drilling process so it is a good idea to give first priority to these sections.
What to consider when using PPE (personal protective equipment)
Before using PPE think about the hazard and try to find better ways of controlling it.
For example you can use a local ventilation exhaust instead of using gas masks. Work closely with the team supervisor to get holistic solutions to the problem.
When wearing the PPE make sure it fits you appropriately. If you are wearing goggles, confirm that they are giving you clear vision. Gas mask should be breathable and a recovery procedure should be available in case of any emergencies.
Finally be aware of the risks involved in working processes that produce silica dust. Take control in order to protect yourself and your workers with the right personal protective equipment’s. You can manage silica hazards by taking training and good practices in your place of work.