|Implementation of rpe programme to prevent
Marshalls’ Natural Stone Division processes yorkshire sandstone by cutting quarried stone into finished products. Large sandstone blocks are cut to size and finished within the saw shed. Water suppression is the primary exposure control strategy for airborne silica in the shed. Monitoring showed respirable crystalline silica (RCS) exposure concentrations in the saw shed were too high.
A team involving managers, works engineers, union representatives and Marshalls’ safety team reviewed the operations and the following actions implemented:
• Engineering improvements to reduce airborne RCS
• All employees given information and training on the use and wearing of RPE
• All employees given information and training on the hazards associated with RCS
• RPE provided for all employees who are exposed to RCS levels above the WEL of 0.1mg/m3
• Employees offered a choice of RPE, powered full face air respirators and half face masks
• Employees wearing half face masks given face-fit tests
• Equipment subject to a monthly maintenance schedule with appropriate reporting
• Independent dust assessments carried out at a minimum interval of two years
• All recommendations from independent consultant will be actioned
• Mandatory wearing of RPE where the WEL for RCS is exceeded
• All employees attending annual health surveillance as per the group policy.
• Reduced employees exposure to hazard from RCS
• Employees understand risks and trained to use appropriate protection
• Company is meeting its statutory requirements
• Systems in place to monitor and further reduce RCS levels
• Team approach to finding a solution.