Got Silica?

Solutions EHS can help you implement the requirements of the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) crystallinesilica standard by assisting your company evaluate and control occupational exposures. Let a Certified Industrial Hygienist help your company comply with the new standard.

Crystalline silica is an abundant natural material, found in stone, soil, and sand. It is commonly a component of concrete, brick, mortar, and other construction materials. According to OSHA, approximately 2.3 million workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in their workplace. The most prevalent industry for silica exposure is construction, where employees are commonly required to cut, drill, grind, or crush concrete and stone building materials. Crystalline silica is classified as a human lung carcinogen and may also cause silicosis, which in some cases may be debilitating or fatal.

Both the new construction and general industry standards contained in the final rule took effect on June 23, 2016. The construction industry must comply by June 23, 2017, one year after the effective date. Under the standard (29 CFR 1926.1153) employee exposures are limited to a new PEL of 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air (μg/m3), averaged over an 8-hour day. The new PEL is the same for all industries covered by the rule.

This new construction standard contains provisions for:

- Measuring employee silica exposures;

- Limiting employee access to areas where silica exposures are high;

- Utilizing effective methods to reduce exposures;

- Providing medical exams to employees with high silica exposures; and

- Training employees about silica-related hazards and how to limit exposure.

Let Solutions EHS help your company develop an effective crystalline silica exposure control program to ensure the maximum impact and cost effectively (info@solutionsehs.com). Feel free to contact us for assistance at your convenience or visit the OSHA webpage for more details: (https://www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/silicacrystalline/)