Respirable Crystalline Silica or RCS is a type of dangerous dust. It's made up of tiny, microscopic particles invisible to the human eye and it's found in many common building materials such as concrete, engineered stone and brick.
RCS becomes an issue when a worker cuts, grinds or drills into a material that contains silica because it's thrown into the air and breathed in by the worker or other people in the surrounding areas.
Prolonged exposure to silica dust harms the human lung and can lead to severe health issues including Silicosis.
When it comes to working with materials containing RCS, thorough safety measures need to be in place and workers should use quality equipment that prevents dust created in the first place and also efficiently captures what is created.
Most important of all though is for each individual to take the risk of silica dust seriously and to be accountable for their own safety and the safety of those around them.
Disclaimer: This information is not endorsed by any Work Health and Safety governing body and shouldn't be interpreted as any form of legal or health advice. All regulatory and compliance enquiries must go to the relevant Worksafe organisation responsible for each region of Australia. All health-based enquiries should be discussed with and handled by a Medical Professional. Information provided in this article is accurate as of August 2019.
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