New OSHA Silica Standard Covering Silica Dust

Is your business in compliance with the new OSHA Silica standard covering silica dust?

On June 23, 2016 the revision to the new rule limiting the amount of silica dust exposure went into effect. The new rule establishes a PEL of 50 micrograms of crystalline silica per cubic meter based on an 8-hour time-weighted average. Previously, the PEL was determined using a calculation of the percentage of silica in total dust. While this makes the results less complicated to interpret, the new figure is easily exceeded in many work environments.

The revised standard will impact many general industries as well as construction trades. Perhaps the most impacted will be the stone industry. Whether the company makes granite countertops, provides stonework for interiors and/or exteriors of homes, or is involved in the cement trade; it is likely that engineering controls will be insufficient.

It is recommended to conduct annual air sampling to understand the levels of silica that is being generated. If laboratory analysis reveals levels above the new PEL, administrative controls and appropriate PPE is necessary to protect your employees.

Respirator Mobile Fit can work with you and your team to ensure compliance with this standard. Our team of qualified technicians is led by a Certified Industrial Hygienist/Certified Safety Professional. Our process includes an initial discussion and inspection of the work site; appropriate area and personnel air sampling; evaluation of the laboratory results; and recommendations for various remedies.

We strive to assist in keeping employees safe while assisting employers with regulatory compliance. Contact us to learn more or to ask any questions.

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