Health & Safety


Product: Natural Roofing Slate.

Application: Roofing and Cladding Material.
The information is provided in compliance with the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act, 1974, section 6 (as amended by the Consumer Protection Act 1987), and Control of Substances hazardous to Health (COSHH) 1988.

Physical & Chemical Characteristics
I. Non Combustible.
II. Natural slate is a stable material gained from naturally occurring slate deposits.

Main Hazards
I. Due to the nature of the stone and the way the slates are produced by splitting blocks, SIGA Natural Slate may have sharp edges which can cause injuries or cuts.
II. If slate is worked with power tools and in a closed environment, quantities of dust may be produced which may result in a health hazard to operatives exposed to the dust over extended periods.

The OES (Occupational Exposure Standard), the long term exposure limit is described as 10mg/m³ of total inhalable dust OR 5mg/m³ of respirable dust. Such exposure could aggravate existing respiratory or lung conditions through inhalation of the dust.

Precautions and Health Protection
I. Natural Roofing Slates may be drilled using a high speed steel drill. Any cutting operations where levels of dust would exceed the dust control limits will require the special precautions laid down in that legislation. Slaters involved in machine cutting and drilling above head height should wear protective goggles (BS 2091) or equivalent. The inhalation of any dust produced from cutting or drilling slates should be avoided. The slate particles contain between 15-35% (quartz) silica. If inhaled in excessive quantities over extended periods, respirable dust, containing quartz, can constitute a long-term health hazard. The best methods are engineering controls such as total enclosure or local exhaust ventilation to keep concentrations of respirable quartz below 0.1mg/cubic metre (HSE Guidance note EH40 “Occupational Exposure Levels” available from HMSO gives the recommended limit for exposure to respirable quartz, and reference should be made to the latest edition of the document which is normally published annually.) Where engineering control is not reasonably practicable or does not sufficiently control exposure to slate dust, then respiratory protection to BS 2091 Type B or BS 6016 Type 2 should be worn. Reference should also be made to BS 4275: 1974 “Recommendations for the selection, use and maintenance of respiratory protective equipment, particularly to the concept of nominal protection factor.”
II. Strong protective gloves should be worn when handling slate.
III. Working on a pitched roof surface is an extremely dangerous environment. As well as providing adequate scaffolding, the operator should wear an approved harness if at all practicable and have use of roof ladders and boards.

Other than common precautions to make loads safe and secure in transit, no special care is needs to be taken with SIGA Natural Slates which are commonly transported in full pallets.

I. Pallets should not be stacked more than 2 pallets high.
II. Pallets should be stacked only on firm and level ground.

First Aid
In the event of any accident, the appropriate treatment, including first aid or further medical attention, should be given immediately.

Waste from SIGA Natural Slate is inert but should be disposed of within the legal requirements of local authorities. For further advice please contact:  SIGA Natural Slate, Harding Way, St Ives, Cambridgeshire PE27 3YJ Tel: (01480) 466777 Email:


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