Title

Crystalline silica exposure of workers using autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) products

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

CCH Australia

Place of Publication

North Ryde, NSW

Faculty

Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science

School

School of Medical and Health Sciences

RAS ID

18536

Comments

Originally published as: Tompf, P., & Oosthuizen, J. (2015). Journal of Health, Safety and Environment. 31(1), 499-512. Original article available here

Abstract

Cutting autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) in the construction industry has the potential to expose workers to dust containing respirable crystalline silica. In order to better understand this health risk, a pilot program of air monitoring was conducted in different areas of three Sydney construction sites over a six- day period. An analysis of the results showed that the mean occupational exposure levels were below the exposure standard of 0.1 mg/m 3 for respirable crystalline silica. However, exceedances of the 50% action limit were observed. Respirable dust exposures exceeded the adopted OEL of 3.0 mg/m 3 in some instances. There was considerable variation between the sites in terms of hazard controls, general working conditions and work environments. Wearing of respiratory protective equipment (RPE) varied between AAC crew members and was absent for workers in the vicinity. It can be concluded that strict control measures such as isolating cutting areas, tool maintenance, careful training and supervision, and attention to housekeeping must be adopted to prevent workers’ exposure to respirable quartz and dust.

Access Rights

Not open access