Silicosis and the importance of prevention

One of the deadliest conditions you can contract when breathing in dust is called Silicosis. But what is Silicosis, and how can it be avoided? In this guide, we will explore what's at risk and we'll examine why you should always take precautions in the workplace.

What is Silicosis?

Before we look at some silicosis prevention tips, let’s explore what the disease could do. Silicosis is an occupational lung disease. That means it is usually brought on through working in specific environments.  These may include construction or industrial sites.

Silicosis can be caused when you breathe in microscopic crystals of silica dust. Silica is present in many conventional building and construction materials. If you work with stone, concrete or sand, for example, you may be at risk of exposure to silica dust. 

The smaller the particles you breathe in; the more damage can be done. Dust particles that settle in the lungs and embed in tissue walls can cause scarring and internal inflammation. That means, your lungs will become inefficient, and silicosis may become fatal.

This video below explains it well.

How Do I Prevent Silicosis?

By taking dust safety seriously, ensuring the correct precautions are in place, and investing in the right equipment. No matter what materials you may be working with, it is crucial that you keep hazardous dust at bay. Festool’s range of industrial dust extraction units will remove silica from the air and will store it for safe disposal. That means you and your team can always breathe easy.

What's more, you should always wear the correct PPE and keep your work areas well-ventilated in general. It is crucial that you restrict dust from sandblasting, sawing and other work from transferring into the public atmosphere. You never know who you may be putting at risk.

 Help and Advice

If you work with hazardous dust, you must protect against Silicosis and other occupational diseases. If you are at risk of Silicosis and are worried about the potential impact on your health, make sure you book in with a doctor as soon as possible. In terms of having the right equipment, Festool’s range of power tools, accessories and dust extraction equipment will help keep you safe from dust and associated diseases. 

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.