Blog - Slip Testing
New NATA accredited Silica Dust TestingPosted 20th April 2020, Carl Strautins
Safe Environments recently obtained new NATA accredited Silica Dust Testing to support their ISO 17020 occupational hygiene inspection activities. This NATA accreditation for silica analysis allows Safe Environments occupational hygienists to provide faster turnaround time from sampling to final reporting by having direct control over the chemical analysis. Analytical silica testing services are available to the commercial clients and the public providing more access to obtain fast reliable results for industry. This will assist industry to make informed decisions regarding exposure to respirable silica and the prevention of silicosis.
This service is all important with the silicosis epidemic requiring an increase in silica dust testing facilities. This is especially important with the revision of Workplace Exposure Standard (WES) for Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS). The initial recommendation published 18 February 2019 provided a recommendation to reduce the exposure standard from 0.1 mg/m3 to 0.02 mg/m3. After public comment, this recommendation was to reduce the workplace exposure standard 0.05 mg/m3 with many states ready to implement the change in the exposure standard for respirable crystalline silica.
Analysis of respirable crystalline silica, specifically α quartz is performed using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). This test employs the NHMRC Methods For Measurement of Quartz in Respirable Airborne Dust by Infrared Spectroscopy and X-Ray Diffractometry (XRD) and our own in-house Standard Operating Procedure for Airborne Contaminant Monitoring: Sampling and Analysis of Crystalline Silica in Respirable Dust by FTIR.
As at February 2020, Safe Environments are the only Type A occupational hygiene inspection body accredited to ISO 17020 by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) to determine compliance with legislative Workplace Exposure Standards. This provides assurance of technical competence of our occupational hygienists and quality assurance. Respirable crystalline silica inspections are overseen by Safe Environments Certified Occupational Hygienist (COH), Mr Carl Strautins, a Certified Materials Professional (CMatP) and a Masters in Science in Medicine (clinical epidemiology).
For more information about Safe Environments analytical testing services, inspection activities for the measurement of respirable crystalline silica by occupational hygienists, please call 02 9621 3706 or email info@SafeEnvironments.com.au