Quarry and stoneworkers
Workers in this sector undertake activities that can give rise to high and frequent exposures to Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) resulting in silicosis and Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Activities in the quarrying industry where exposures occur involve mining of high silica stone, sand pits, clay pits, blasting, breaking, crushing and screening. For stone workers, exposures result from work in fixed premises, work on high silica-content stone, cutting, grinding and chiselling.
Interventions that have been undertaken include:
- A training tool to raise awareness amongst quarry operatives/maintenance personnel.
- A vocational learning package for new-entrant stoneworkers.
- Free events for stoneworkers to raise awareness of the ill-health effects and suitable controls.
By registering, information on these and other initiatives is available on the Occupational Disease Community site.
Specific guidance for employers on reducing the incidence of respiratory disease is available on HSE’s quarry industry pages and stoneworkers pages.