This publication has been produced by the Health and Safety Executive, with contributions from industry, to provide updated guidance on the risks from exposure to dust in the stone working industry, and measures required to control them. It replaces the guidance, HSG201 ‘Controlling exposure to stonemasonry dust: Guidance for Employers’ which was published in 2001.
This guidance includes:
- the Workplace Exposure Limit for respirable crystalline silica (RCS) of 0.1 mg/ m3 (8 hour time-weighted average) and the classification of RCS as a carcinogen.
- more information on types of stone, especially artificial ones (engineered/resin and sintered stone), and their crystalline silica content.
- an overview of processes and factors that should be addressed to adequately protect the respiratory health of those handling and processing stone.
- a summary of the types of control likely to be required, such as water suppression, extraction and respiratory protective equipment (RPE) to provide adequate control of the dust.
- advice on the key controls likely to be required for specific common processes in stone working that generate hazardous levels of dust (information is also available in the recently revised COSHH Essentials guidance sheets ST series).
- a review of the relevance of heath surveillance for those exposed to RCS.
This publication aims to help both employers and workers:
- understand the health risks associated with exposure to stone dust, especially that containing RCS.
- identify the processes and control measures they need to adopt within their workplace to ensure adequate control of stone dust, protect workers’ health and comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH).
While this guidance is intended to help employers, it ultimately remains their responsibility to ensure a suitable risk assessment has been completed for the types of stone and work processes they use. They must also identify and implement control measures to adequately control risks to their workers