Silica Dust Medical & Wood Dust Medicals
Silica is a natural substance found in most rocks, sand and clay and in products such as bricks and concrete. Silica is also used as filler in some plastics. In the workplace, these materials create dust when they are cut, sanded, carved etc.
Some of this dust may be fine enough to breathe deeply into your lungs and cause harm to your health. The fine dust is called respirable crystalline silica (RCS) and is too fine to see with normal lighting. Regular Silica Dust Medical & Wood Dust Medicals will monitor the effects of working in a dusty environment and assess the impact on employees health.
Breathing in RCS could cause employees to develop the following lung diseases:
Silicosis: Silicosis makes breathing more difficult and increases the risk of lung infections. Silicosis usually follows exposure to RCS over many years, but extremely high exposures can lead rapidly to ill health.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): COPD is a group of lung diseases, including bronchitis and emphysema, resulting in severe breathlessness, prolonged coughing and chronic disability. It may be caused by breathing in any fine dusts, including RCS. It can be very disabling and is a leading cause of death. Cigarette smoking can make it worse.
Lung cancer: Heavy and prolonged exposure to RCS can cause lung cancer. When someone already has silicosis, there is an increased risk of lung cancer.
The health risks from RCS are insignificant when exposure to dust is adequately controlled – you do not need to become ill through work activities.
Lloyd OH will conduct a Silica Dust Medical & Wood Dust Medicals where your employees are exposed to RCS. This will include:
Health and working history consultation
Lung function tests
Wood Dust Medicals
Wood dust can cause serious health problems and can cause asthma. Carpenters and joiners are four times more likely to develop Occupational asthma compared with other UK workers. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) requires protection for workers from the hazards of wood dust.
- Hardwood dust can cause cancer, particularly of the nose.
- Settled dust contains the fine particles that are most likely to damage the lungs.
As part of your health and safety processes Lloyd Occupational Health will conduct a Wood Dust Medical for your employees which will include:
- Health and working history consultation
- Lung function tests