Healthy Workplaces

Healthy Workplaces

USG Boral's commitment to healthy workplaces

With growing concern over the rise in reported respirable crystalline silica (RCS) related cases, USG Boral is advocating for healthier work sites in building and construction.

MINIMISING AIRBORNE RESPIRABLE DUST

As a manufacturer of plasterboards and jointing compounds, USG Boral has a responsibility to support employee and contractor health and safety and reviews the products and services it provides to ensure they contribute to a safer workplace.

Exposure in the plasterboard industry to crystalline silica content of raw materials comes from the use of gypsum and limestone. However, local sources of both are very pure, with low levels of crystalline silica content – typically less than 0.1 per cent.

The current New Zealand Workplace Exposure Standard (WES) for RCS (respirable crystalline silica) is 100ug/m3. An employee’s level of risk is a combination of the type of material being handled and the manner of the activity being undertaken. The onsite preparation and installation of plasterboard do not exceed the permissible workplace exposure standard.

In addition, the New Zealand construction industry is adopting many safety practices to minimise exposure to airborne hazards, including vacuum-assisted sanding tools and more effective dust masks with higher protection against airborne particulates.

WHAT WE’RE DOING TO MAKE WORKPLACES HEALTHIER

USG Boral is committed to developing products that provide the industry with a safer working environment. This includes the new jointing compounds and improvements in the development of plasterboard.

SHEETROCK® Dust Control Finishing Compound in particular helps to reduce respirable dust in construction workplaces.

SHEETROCK® Dust Control Finishing Compound

Respirable dust is generated in workplaces when jointed plasterboard walls and ceilings are sanded using hand or mechanical sanders. SHEETROCK® Dust Control joint finishing compound limits the pluming of sanded compound dust through air spaces. The technology contained in the product produces dust particles which fall directly to the wall or floor junction and react better to the vacuum of mechanical sanders. The result is far less airborne dust.

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