Welcome Guest! The IOSH forums are a free resource to both members and non-members. Login or register to use them

Postings made by forum users are personal opinions. IOSH is not responsible for the content or accuracy of any of the information contained in forum postings. Please carefully consider any advice you receive.

Notification

Icon
Error

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
Louise Bamford  
#1 Posted : 03 July 2022 21:10:03(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Louise Bamford

A client is struggling with compatability of RPE - any suggestions please?

Using hand held grinders to shape solid material, containing silica. Wet cut operation effective in reducing dust at source & occ health monitors show very small amountS of silica in working atmosphere. As there is no safe WEL for silica, RPE IS essential to address this small residual.

Half face catridge masks are not appropriate due to operatives facial hair (no tight fit can be achieved) and full face self contained RPE kit is leading to visiblity problems (due to the wet cut mist/spray on the visor).  Have tried tear off shield protectors and continually wiping the visor but this inhibits the precise natre of the task.

I think I know my own answer here although wanted to consult the experts for any suggestions! 

Thanks in advance evereyone

Roundtuit  
#2 Posted : 04 July 2022 09:19:41(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Sounds like the type of activity that could possibly be undertaken dry in a (sand) blasting cabinet or over an extraction table - elimiates the damping fluid and its associated problems.

Roundtuit  
#3 Posted : 04 July 2022 09:19:41(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Sounds like the type of activity that could possibly be undertaken dry in a (sand) blasting cabinet or over an extraction table - elimiates the damping fluid and its associated problems.

peter gotch  
#4 Posted : 05 July 2022 11:51:07(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Hi Louise

We are not all "experts" on these Forums and none of us is an "expert" on everything.

Nothing is 100% "safe" - there are exposure limits for silica in EH40 and despite the carcinogenic notation the duty is to reduce exposure so far as reasonably practicable.

Seems to me that if your monitoring indicates that the exposure is well below the WEL, then perhaps it may not be reasonably practicable to use RPE to further reduce it. No "safe level" but reasonably to assume a dose-response" relationship or we might as well never leave the house for fear of breathing in one fibre of asbestos each day.

Roundtuit offers an alternative process but I wonder whether doing the work within a blast cabinet might impact the ability of the worker to do the detailing required.

So, I think you probably need to look at what the "experts" are saying either by checking out all the relevant research and any other publications and/or bring in the right "expert" who might be an occupational hygienist who can demonstrate experience of looking at comparable scenarios.

May be there are technical papers published by whoever represents the likes of monumental masons at national or international level - it is very difficult to envisage your scenario as being unique!

I presume that it is a given that the workers need eye protection, so with or without RPE, there are likely to be issues with the eye protection being splashed - may be part of the solution is to look at the method by which the process is kept damp - could be as simple as changing the direction of water suppression to help take most of the splashback away from the operative.

BUT, the artisan here is likely to have their eyes further away from the workpiece, so may be eye protection that does not double up as RPE might be less prone to vision problems.......so, possibly that RPE is NOT reasaonably practicable (since assessing one half of the equation - the "cost" involves taking account of the "effort" or in Plain English, hassle) - I don't know and am not the expert to make a proper judgement!

One of the possible issues might be where the work is done. Imagine one of those stonemasons who spends years and years restoring medieval cathedrals - it might be that it is inherently safer to remove the ornate stonework to a workshop than to do the work in situ.

Good luck, Peter

KMatt  
#5 Posted : 05 July 2022 13:16:39(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
KMatt

Hello.  Have you had a recent dust survey carried out on individuals to determine their exposure, the company who carry this out then may be able to assist further with recommendations.  I worked for a stone company for many years and we found validate consulting to be very helpful.  Other than that if you are a member of the stone federation they should be able to assist.  

Edited by user 05 July 2022 13:17:20(UTC)  | Reason: spelling

Users browsing this topic
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.