Amerimix
BMJ Stone
Echelon Masonry
EZG Manufacturing
Federated Insurance
Fraco USA, Inc.
Hohmann and Barnard, Inc.
Hydro Mobile, Inc.
iQ Power Tools
Kennison Forest Products, Inc.
Mortar Net Solutions
Non-Stop Scaffolding
Pullman Ermator
SPEC MIX LLC
Stabila
Tradesmen's Software, Inc.
September 18, 2009 12:45 PM CDT

OSHA Document Describes Silica Control

Worker exposure to crystalline silica addressed

By

Controlling Silica Exposures in Construction, a guidance document recently published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration addresses the control of worker exposure to dust containing crystalline silica, known to cause the lung disease silicosis.

The publication, intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace, includes methods for controlling silica such as wet cutting during construction operations. Wet cutting controls silica dust generated when using hand-held saws, grinders and jackhammers. Wetting materials at the point of impact makes the dust particles heavier and more likely to stick to each other, reducing the chance of dust becoming airborne.

Vacuum dust collection systems also effectively control silica by drawing dust particles away from the worker’s breathing zone and depositing them into a filtered dust collection chamber.

“Workers in the construction trades not only suffer serious injuries and illnesses resulting from unsafe equipment but also from inhaling harmful dusts,” said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. “Providing guidance for reducing potentially fatal hazards associated with occupational exposure to silica dust is one of this agency’s priorities.”

Employers should conduct periodic monitoring of silica exposure by testing air samples at the construction site to determine if the level of silica in the air exceeds the permissible exposure limit (PEL) outlined in the construction PEL standard. As one of OSHA’s areas of emphasis, the agency has developed standards for silica to assure work practice controls are effective.

For more information, visit OSHA’s Safety and Health Topics page on crystalline silica.


About the Author

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

 

Related Articles

More Masonry Headlines

“The MCAA is critical to forwarding our cause.”

Danks Burton
Pinnacle Masonry, Inc.
MCAA member since 1997

Learn More