With the revision of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive an Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) of 0.1 mg/m³ for respirable crystalline silica was established.
To support the practical implementation of this new limit value, the European Social Partner organisations for the Construction sector, EFBWW and FIEC, carried out a project aiming to provide guidance to construction companies and workers. More specifically, the project elaborated a precise mapping which gives recommendations on how to reach the limit value for many specific construction activities each with its specific conditions of exposure and related prevention measures.
The mapping recommendations are based on exposure data and experience on construction sites which was published in a research report. This report discusses advanced practices and persisting challenges in the sector, based on collected exposure data, technical articles and practical experience on construction sites from all over the world, focusing on Europe.
The project partners EFBWW and FIEC believe that, based on the technical state of the art, solutions for sound prevention of exposure to RCS are achievable for most construction activities. So as to reach those levels, a dialogue between social partners from various countries, the respective prevention bodies and other stakeholders (amongst others the providers of technical equipment) is crucial and a good starting point. EFBWW and FIEC agreed not only to disseminate the project results as best as possible, but also to continue working on the topic in a dedicated joint working party.
The mapping is available in 12 languages (Croatian, Czech, English, French, German, Italian, Latvian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Turkish). See download links above.
The research report entitled “Reducing Respirable Crystalline Silica Dust effectively on Construction Sites” by Dr. Reinhold Rühl and Dr. Olaf Wirth from Ökopol is available in English HERE.