News & Events
Silica Prevention Awareness Training Program
- August 26, 2020
- Posted by: MWD
- Category: Training Courses
Silica – just how dangerous is it and how does it compare to Asbestos?
Silica is a naturally occurring substance that consists of the two most abundant elements on the planet; silica and oxygen. There are two forms namely crystalline and amorphous. Silicosis is a lung disease caused by the inhaling, retention and pulmonary reaction to crystalline silica and when it becomes symptomatic, the usual first sign or symptom is difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath.
Asbestos refers to a family of magnesium-silicate mineral fibres that can become inhalable and respirable when disturbed, leading to diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. There are two main forms of asbestos namely serpentine and amphiboles. Asbestosis is the formation of scar tissue because of encapsulated fibres in the lung from respirable asbestos fibres that damage the cells of the lungs.
Is there any common ground between asbestos dust and silica dust? Absolutely – they both contain crystalline silica, specifically quartz and cristobalite. Therefore, both asbestos and silica are dangerous to human health as occupational exposure can result in asbestosis and silicosis. No amount of asbestos or silica exposure is safe, it is critical that we all control breathable asbestos and silica dust at its source to save lives.
Silica dust is extremely common. It forms during road construction, general building construction, sandblasting, stone cutting, mining, abrasive manufacturing, glass manufacturing, quarrying, tunnelling and working with certain metal ores. Materials that contain crystalline silica are not hazardous unless they are disturbed, much like asbestos. However if disturbed by activities such as cutting, chipping, drilling and grinding materials that contain silica can result in silica dust that is particularly hazardous in the construction industry as crystalline silica comes from materials such as concrete, mortar, bricks, tiles, stone (including engineered stone which is now banned in Australia from July 2024) and cement products. As mentioned before, what makes silica especially dangerous is that it is so prevalent.
As with Asbestos dust, any amount of exposure is too much. To reflect the high risk associated with Silica exposure the WHS Act and WHS Regulations 2017 requires that a PCBU ensures, so far as is reasonably practicable, the provision of any information, training, instruction and supervision that is necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety arising from work with manufactured stone that is carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking. A PCBU must ensure that information, training and instruction provided to a worker are suitable and adequate and have regard to:
· the nature of the work carried out by the worker
· the nature of the risks associated with the work at the time the information, training
· and instruction is provided, and
· the control measures implemented
To assist with meeting your legal and moral obligations, Admire Workplace Safety have developed a Silica Prevention Awareness Training Program that will provide you and your staff with all the information necessary to safely manage silica exposure in your workplace.
The Admire Workplace Safety Silica Prevention Awareness Training Program will be as follows:
Duration – 3 hours
Delivery – face to face
· Identification of crystalline silica containing products
· Relevant legislation, guidelines and standards
· Consequences, hazards and risks to health due to exposure
· Exposure standards
· Safety Data Sheets
· Hierarchy of Controls
· Systems for prevention of exposure
· Risk assessments and hazard prevention
Target audience –
· Cement manufacturers and installers
· Construction Labourers
· Traffic Controllers
Number of Participants – 20
Course outcome – Certificate of Attendance
Validity of training: Recommended to be conducted as per company requirements