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SILICA DUST – Controlled Cutting of Bricks and Concrete Using Water or On-tool Dust Capture

Crystalline silica (silica) – or quartz – is a naturally occurring mineral found in most construction materials including concrete, bricks, sandstone, fibre-cement and engineered stone. When you cut these materials, they can generate very fine silica dust that is small enough to breathe into your lungs. Over time, exposure to silica dust can lead to serious lung disease or death.

However, exposure to silica dust can be minimised if you use the right tools and the right personal protective equipment. Watch these SafeWork NSW Video Safety Alerts for how to safely cut bricks and concrete that contain silica using water or on-tool dust capture.

 Both videos outline four easy steps to minimize exposure to silica dust when cutting:

  • Work in well ventilated areas. e.g. outdoors and away from other workers where possible
  • Use wet cutting or on-tool dust capture devices
  • Plan work tasks, having clear written rules and policies and maintain equipment and,
  • Wear a correctly fitted respirator.

For further information visit the SafeWork NSW crystalline silica webpage or contact 13 10 50.


High Risk Work & Stakeholder Engagements Team

Construction Services Group
SafeWork NSW
4 Parramatta Square
Level 21, 12 Darcy Street
Parramatta NSW 2153
p 13 10 50

work at height