Cutting and Manipulating Stone
All precautions should be taken when working with natural stone, regardless of the amount of respirable crystalline silica (RCS) content.
- Use tools with continuous water feed when cutting or manipulating stone to minimise dust.
- Wear a respiratory particle filter dust mask that complies with AS/NZS 1715 and 1716 standards.
- Minimize dust at the source by using local exhaust ventilation, on-tool extraction, and water suppression.
- Stop dust from spreading by cleaning up regularly with a suitable vacuum cleaner and wet mopping, and dispose of wet waste before it dries.
- Change clothes to avoid taking home RCS, as this will prolong your exposure and risk exposing your family.
- Be trained on safe work practices and follow safety guidelines when working with natural stone.
Silica Dust Warning
Silica is silicon dioxide, a naturally occurring and widely abundant mineral that forms the major component of most rocks and soils. There are non-crystalline and crystalline forms of silicon dioxide. The most common type of crystalline silica is quartz (CAS 14808-60-7).
Different types of rock and rock products can contain different amounts of silica, for example:
|Type||Amount of silica (%)|
|Slate||25 to 40|
|Granite||20 to 45 (typically 30)|
|Natural sandstone||70 to 95|
|Engineered stone||Up to 97|
|Aggregates, mortar and concrete||various|