Silica dust

Stoneworkers can suffer ill health and disease caused by Respirable Crystaline Silica (RCS)in the stone dust that they breathe in. These include silicosis, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). For more information on the ill heath effects look at the HSE web pages on Lung disease.

The amount of dust you are exposed to depends on a numbers of factors including:

There is a clear requirement under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) for employers to assess and control the risks from stone dust exposure.

Guidance on controls for specific tasks can be found in COSHH Essentials for Stonemasons.

In addition, where there is a reasonable risk of workers developing silicosis, health surveillance is required. Guidance is available in Health surveillance for those exposed to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) G404.

Case studies

Updated: 2022-05-17