Crystalline silica is an industrial material that is typically found in the construction industry. One of the most common types of silica is Quartz, which is found in the earth’s crust. When silica dust particles are inhaled, it can become extremely hazardous. Exposure to silica occurs in the workplace when cutting, sawing, and drilling occur. Every year, about 2.3 million workers are exposed to silica and nearly 90% of these workers are in the construction industry.
Additional Outreach – an Important Step
In the beginning of April, OSHA announced that it would be delaying enforcement on crystalline silica standards in the construction industry. This may have come to a surprise to some because of the immediate hazards of silica. However, they arrived to this decision as a way to provide additional outreach as well as educational materials and guidance for employers. Instead of these standards beginning on June 23, 2017, they will now be enforced September 23, 2017. Employers now have the chance to take steps to become compliant in exposure limits and implement new workplace standards. This includes implementing exposure assessment, medical surveillance, and employee training.
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Understanding the Dangers of Crystalline Silica
If you have been exposed to crystalline silica, you may experience adverse health effects as a construction employee. This could include the lung disease known as silicosis, respiratory diseases like bronchitis, lung cancer, or kidney disease. Being able to recognize these hazards is the best way for employers to protect their employees from danger. OSHA hopes that this extension is the best way for employers to implement necessary procedures to benefit their employees. If you have fallen ill due to silica in the workplace, however, you should always have an attorney on your side through the process. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we understand the laws in your case and have what it takes to settle your construction injury. Call us today for more information on how we can aid you.