Crystalline silica is a common mineral that is found in materials that construction workers deal with every day – such as roads, buildings, and sidewalks. It is a common component of sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, block and mortar. Common workplace operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing of these materials often create crystalline silica dust exposure in construction. Scientific evidence shows that current exposure limits do not adequately protect worker health. The new OSHA Construction Standard will help to fully protect workers against dangers of exposure to respirable crystalline silica in the workplace. OSHA’s new standards to protect workers in construction are set to roll out this weekend, on September 23, 2017.
OSHA allows for two alternative methods of ensuring compliance with these requirements: standard control methods specified in the Table: SPECIFIED EXPOSURE CONTROL METHODS WHEN WORKING WITH MATERIALS CONTAINING CRYSTALLINE SILICA that match common tasks with dust control methods, or the alternative control methods mentioned below.
OSHA Standards contained in the final rule took effect on June 23, 2017, but the enforcement was delayed to September 23rd. Industries have one to five years to comply with the requirements, based on the following compliance schedule:
You can find additional information on OSHA’s silica rule at www.osha.gov/silica. OSHA can provide extensive help through different programs, including technical assistance about effective safety and health programs, workplace consultations, and training and education.
One of the most effective ways to protect against silica is using the appropriate respirators. The best-selling 7000 and 7800 series respirators by Moldex will ensure complete protection against crystalline silica and other harmful agents. However, a respirator can’t protect you if it doesn’t fit properly. A respirator must form a tight seal with your face and neck to function properly. This is why it is important to perform a respirator fit test before starting projects that involve exposure to silica. Moldex can help you stay in compliance with the new silica standard. Qualified safety managers and company buyers can check out a sample of Moldex respiratory or hearing protection products for free: http://www.moldex.com/spisafety/
How do you know if you are providing enough protection? Talk to us at 800-829-9580 or visit us online. We have the right respirators and safety gear to help protect your crew and keep your company OSHA compliant.