BALLAST DUST ON WORKSITES
General Safety Awareness and Precautions
- Ballast handling activities create fine particles (dust). Ballast dust contains small quantities of Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS)
- Breathing in this dust at high concentrations over prolonged periods of time may lead to the development of a condition known as silicosis
Silicosis: RCS scars the lung tissue and can lead to permanent breathing difficulties
Whilst working, consider…
- Dust created by your own work activity
- Dust created by other worksites close to you e.g. on adjacent lines
- High concentrations of dust building up in confined spaces (such as tunnels)
- Weather conditions, as heat and wind can increase dust concentration levels in the work area
- Wind conditions may also reduce concentrations of dust if you can work up-wind
- Move away from the area if you are not involved in the task
- Instruct those who don’t need to be there to move clear
- Wear appropriate RPE if you are involved in the task and it’s deemed necessary to wear
- Keep cab/machine doors and windows closed
Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE)
- Is the RPE as detailed in COSHH risk assessment?
- Has it been allocated to YOU?
- Is it in good condition?
- Is it clean?
- If appropriate, did you shave within 8hrs of the start of the shift?
- Have you received face fit testing?
- Do you have a good seal between your face and the RPE?
Please report very dusty events to NSC 24/7 on 01908 723500
If you are concerned about dust levels STOP WORKING and contact your manager
Please take time to read the Newsletter and consider What you have learnt?
- Question: What should you consider if you need to work in a dusty environment?
- Question: If you are not working directly with the ballast handling activity, what should you do if you find yourself in a dusty area?
- Question: If you are having ballast dust visibility problems whilst working – what should you do?