OSHA 1926.1153 Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard takes effect 9/23/17
What is Silica?
“Silica is one of the most common minerals in the earth’s crust. Glass, beach sand, silicone, and granite are all silica materials. There are two forms of silica – crystalline and noncrystalline. Crystalline silica is a bigger worry for the health of our lungs.” (http://depts.washington.edu/silica/silica.html)
How To Take Precaution
- Know the dangers of breathing in crystalline silica dust, and avoid working in or near dust whenever possible.
- Remember: Even if you cannot see dust, you may still be at risk.
- Use water spray systems and proper ventilation in confined spaces.
- If water systems and ventilation are not enough, your employer must provide respirators specifically designed to protect against crystalline silica.
- Take advantage of health and lung screenings offered by your employer.
- Thoroughly wash your hands before eating or drinking in dusty areas.
- Shower and change into clean clothes before leaving work to help prevent contamination of your car or home.
Silica is a constant danger in the construction injury that puts workers at risk of Silicosis.
What is Silicosis?
“Silicosis is a lung disease caused by breathing in tiny bits of silica, a mineral that is part of sand, rock, and mineral ores such as quartz. It mostly affects workers exposed to silica dust in occupations such mining, glass manufacturing, and foundry work. Over time, exposure to silica particles causes scarring in the lungs, which can harm your ability to breathe.” (http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/silicosis/)