OSHA’s silica rule was put into effect to help limit workers’ exposure to harmful silica dust. Crystalline silica is a mineral that can be found in stone, concrete, brick, and mortar. Breathing in this dust can lead to cancer, respiratory, and other diseases.
Limiting Exposure to Silica Dust
Preventing diseases caused by silica dust is done by limiting workers exposure to the dust. Construction tasks that cause exposure to silica are:
- Using masonry saws, grinders, drills
- Using jackhammers and handheld powered chipping tools
- Operating vehicle mounted drilling rigs
- Operating crushing machines
- Using heavy equipment for demolition
OSHA’s standard for Respirable Crystalline Silica in construction, effective September 23rd, 2017 is aimed at limiting worker’s exposure to silica dust.
OSHA Silica Dust Requirements
The standard for silica dust includes provisions such as:
- The permissible exposure limit (PEL): the PEL for silica dust is 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air on average for an 8-hour shift
- Medical Exams: Monitor exposed workers
- Engineering Controls: such as water or ventilation
- Provide Respirators: when worker exposure cannot be limited to the PEL
- Develop an exposure control plan
- Teach employees about silica risks and how to limit exposure
Silica Dust Compliance with Help
At All NYC Safety & Training, we offer services for full compliance with the crystalline silica rule.
- Perform an assessment and develop a written exposure control plan – Develop a contractor specific written Exposure Control Plan that identifies tasks that involve exposure and methods used to protect workers.
- Provide required training – OSHA requires Hazard Recognition Training for all exposed workers. All NYC Safety & Training, the leader in construction safety training, has developed a training program on work operations involving silica exposure.
- Develop a respiratory protection program – Based on an exposure assessment, All NYC Safety & Training will develop a written respiratory protection plan, determine personal protective equipment, medical evaluations, and provide respiratory protection equipment.
At All NYC Safety & Training, it is our goal to make your jobsite safer. If you are interested in our silica dust compliance consulting or any of our other site safety services, contact us today! You can also call us at 718-366-3590.