Silica, often referred to as quartz, is found in many materials common on construction sites, including soil, sand, concrete, masonry, rock, granite, and landscaping materials. The dust created by cutting, grinding, drilling or otherwise disturbing these materials can contain crystalline silica particles which create a potential health hazard. Continue reading “How to Work Safely with Silica”
UPDATE: Thank you to Peter Shackford from Hettrick Cyr and Associates for his seminar on the Silica Awareness. We will post the recording to the members only section!
OSHA released an updated regulation for employee exposure to respirable silica. The new rule sets the permissible exposure limit (PEL) at 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air averaged over an eight-hour shift. Contractors Risk Management, Inc. identified six additional requirements: Sets action level at 25 micrograms per cubic meter of air, option to assess exposure through air monitoring or implementing personal protective equipment (PPE) controls, develop an exposure control plan, train employees on silica control measures, medical monitoring for exposed employees, and an emphasis on engineering controls prior to the use of respirators. Employers covered by the construction standard have until June 23, 2017 to comply with most requirements.