One of the most abundant minerals found in the earth’s crust is silica. Most construction products contain crystalline silica, which is a common form of this mineral. Some construction products that have silica present in them are sand, stone, shale, sandstone, manufactured stone, concrete and mortar. A variety of other products like tiles, bricks and benchtops also use crystalline silica for their production. At various stages of a building project, construction or manufacturing, these kinds of materials would need to be drilled, sawed, cut, grinded and sanded which creates silica dust.
Silica dust is the dust that gets released into the air when these materials are worked on. It is important for employers to monitor the safety of the workplace and keep the staff healthy.
Contact the leaders in the business to ensure your workplace is a healthy place. NCPI has years of experience in silica inspection and silica reporting for domestic and commercial properties.
Silica affects persons at their workplaces
Silica occurs naturally in a wide range of common materials and products used in a variety of industries and occupations. Due to this, occupational exposure to respirable silica dust is unfortunately bound to occur to a certain extent.
Exposure to silica can affect a person’s health on a short or long term basis. Employers should ensure that the respirable crystalline silica or silica dust in their workplace does not exceed the Workplace Exposure Standard (WES).
Silica at work environments can be a major health hazard in the following forms –
- Respirable Silica Dust. This is when a fraction of airborne silica dust particles in the air are easily breathed in. These dust particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause irreversible lung damage.
- Silica Exposure Standard. There is a workplace exposure standard Quartz set by Safe Work Australia. For an 8-hour work shift, this exposure standard is set to a TWA of 0.05mg/m3.
Silica dust can cause various short or long term diseases
Depending on the length and extent, workers exposed to silica dust or breathing it in at high standards or on a regular basis are prone to a number of diseases.
Silica dust can cause short term diseases like chronic bronchitis, emphysema and acute silicosis.
Long term illnesses caused by silica dust are accelerated silicosis, chronic silicosis, lung cancer, kidney damage or scleroderma.
Get a Silica Inspection done by NCPI to safeguard your workplace
NCPI provides professional silica inspection and silica analysis, as well as routine assessment and monitoring services for the presence of silica dust in domestic and commercial properties.
At NCPI, we have the equipment and expertise needed to conduct rapid, accurate silica determinations. We have a team of qualified professionals to carry out the sampling and testing at our National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratories.
We can provide professional reports typically within 48 hours of receipt from our laboratories.