OSHA on Silica Control
OSHA has released “Controlling Silica Exposures in Construction”, which is a guidance document that 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. 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.
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 www.osha.gov/SLTC/silicacrystalline/.
Originally published in Masonry magazine.
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Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at www.masonrymagazine.com.