OSHA Slashes Exposure Limit for Silica

May 23To save hundreds of lives per year, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new rule to diminish the exposure to silica in the work environment, lowering it by 80% in the construction industry and 50% in the general industry. This regulation will be put in place on June 23, 2016. Construction companies will have one year to meet the terms, general industry will have two years and the fracking industry will have five years.

Construction and industrial activities, including blasting, sawing or grinding, produce minute silica particles that, once breathed in, have the ability to impair and damage lungs. In order to reduce this silica exposure, employers will need to use engineering controls, such as water or aeration, and provide respirators when engineering controls cannot supply any more. Furthermore, employers must offer medical exams to workers who are frequently exposed to high silica levels, in order to evaluate their lung health.

The enforcement of the OSHA policies will be crucial in the effort to limit exposure to silica in the workplace. To learn more about protecting your construction team, visit AssuredPartners NL Construction.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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