Respirable crystalline silica is a very common and dangerous hazard that construction and demolition workers are unknowingly exposed to on a daily basis. It is estimated that around 2 million workers are exposed to this hazardous material every year, of those an estimated 840,000 of them are exposed to an amount of silica which exceeds the permissible exposure limit or in other words exceeds the amount that OSHA defines as safe.
Workers who perform a variety of construction activities including cutting, drilling, sawing, and crushing of rock, stone, brick and ceramic tiles are putting themselves at risk of contracting deadly diseases such as silicosis. The tools and training to protect these workers is widely available and inexpensive. If workers had the appropriate crystalline silica training and tools they would be able to implement safe work practices while working with crystalline silica, therefore saving lives by preventing disease.
All construction and demolition workers who may come in contact with crystalline silica should receive proper respirable crystalline silica hazard awareness training.
As a result of the statistics that show the deadly repercussions of ignoring the hazardous properties of respirable crystalline silica, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a new crystalline silica osha standard which demands that employers take more steps to protect their workers health in the field. Among the other requirements listed below workers must receive proper silica hazard awareness training.
All Employers that fall under the OSHA crystalline silica standard must meet the following requirements:
For more information on the OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard please click here.
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