Icopal’s Decra: The Safe Solution

Icopal’s Decra: The Safe Solution

Icopal’s Decra lightweight roof tiles provide the ideal solution to meeting the recent revisions to the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH), which came into force on 1st October 2012. In a bid to reduce the risks associated with silica dust, the changes have stopped roofing contractors from using cut-off saws to dry cut traditional roof tiles such as concrete or clay tiles. With Decra tiles, there is no dust and therefore no silica risk.

The health hazards of silica come from breathing in the dust that is created when power tools are used to cut stone such as concrete or clay. Breathing in very fine particles of crystalline silica can lead to the development of silicosis, which scars the lung tissue and can lead to breathing difficulties. Very high concentrations over a relatively short period of time can even result in a rapid decline in breathing and death within a few months.

In a bid to reduce the risks of silica dust, specific precautions are now required. The key requirement is water suppression and, for this, all modern cut-off saws have an attachment for a water hose. In addition, the correct Respiratory Protection Equipment (RPE) is also needed.

Although water suppression reduces the risk of silica dust, this method in itself causes a host of issues. For example in the case of concrete tiles, the mixture of the water and concrete dust creates slurry, which is a significant slip hazard, particularly on roofs and scaffolding. In addition, the hoses themselves are a hazard in terms of possible tripping. Furthermore, access to water to feed the hoses may not always be straightforward, resulting in additional costs.

Decra tiles, which are available in a range of designs and colours, are coated, galvanised steel tile panels with the appearance of traditional roof tiles. With this, the tiles provide a number of benefits in relation to the updates to the COSHH. Firstly, cutting Decra tiles does not produce silica dust. Therefore, there is not the risk of Silicosis. Secondly, since silica dust is not created, there is not the requirement for the associated precautions, which in themselves present health and safety issues not to mention cost implications.

In addition to providing a solution to the revised COSHH, Decra tiles also boast a number of other benefits. At just one-seventh the weight of concrete roof tiles, savings can be made on the timber content of roof structure. Labour costs are also reduced – they are easier to handle, quicker to install and more attractive than long run roofing sheets. The systems are also extremely strong, robust and vandal resistant while possessing extreme weather resistance.

For further information in Decra, visit www.decra.co.uk

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Icopal Limited is one of the world's largest roofing and building membrane manufacturers, with 29 manufacturing plants and 77 offices in 25 countries across Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia. The combination of proven branded...
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