Friday, May 12, 2017

OSHA New Crystalline Silica Rule


OSHA is issuing two standards to protect workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica—one for construction, and the other for general industry and maritime. City employees would likely fall under the construction standard when engaged in activities related to streets, sidewalks, sewer, etc.
Exposure can occur during common construction tasks such as using masonry saws, grinders, drills, jackhammers, handheld powered chipping tools, milling, and using heavy equipment for demolition or certain other tasks.
What does the standard require?

Two Options:

I. Employers can either use a control method laid out in Table 1* of the construction standard.
(Or)
II. They can measure workers’ exposure to silica and independently decide which dust controls work best to limit exposures to the PEL in their workplaces.

Regardless of which exposure control method is used, all construction employers covered by the standard are required to:
  • Establish and implement a written exposure control plan that identifies tasks that involve exposure and methods used to protect workers, including procedures to restrict access to work areas where high exposures may occur.
  • Designate a competent person to implement the written exposure control plan.
  • Restrict housekeeping practices that expose workers to silica where feasible alternatives are available.
  • Offer medical exams—including chest X-rays and lung function tests—every three years for workers who are required by the standard to wear a respirator for 30 or more days per year.
  • Train workers on work operations that result in silica exposure and ways to limit exposure.
  • Keep records of workers’ silica exposure and medical exams.

*Table 1 (Example) Specific Exposure Control Method for using a hand held concrete saw equipped with a continuous water feed to control dust, outside and less than four hour, no respiratory protection needed. If over four hours outdoors or in enclosed areas, respiratory protection needed.
* www.osha.gov/silica/SilicaConstructionRegText.pdf.
                                                                

                                                      (Wet method- dust control system)           



                                           (Dry method- employee likely exposed to Silica)
                          



OSHA Fact Sheet Crystalline Silica Rule:  https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3681.pdf


By Joe Ingebrand, Senior Loss Control Consultant


 

No comments: