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When working with materials that contain respirable crystalline silica (RCS), a safe work method statement (SWMS) needs to be prepared that shows how risks to health and safety will be contained.
Crystalline silica is present in a variety of building products such as engineered stone, bricks, tiles and concrete. Cutting, grinding or polishing these materials can generate airborne dust containing RCS that can cause serious illness if inhaled.
As this resource describes, an SWMS identifies what workplace risks may be present for activities involving crystalline silica and outlines what control measures are in place to manage these risks. The control measures must be expressed in such a way that they are readily accessible and comprehensible to persons who will use the SWMS.
A typical approach to developing an SWMS involves:
The resource indicates how an SWMS can be produced, including whether a generic SWMS can be used.
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This resource is designed for builders and industry professionals to help them understand the risks associated with respirable crystalline silica.