In early November, OSHA Quicktakes touched base on an all-new guide that would help small businesses comply with silica rules in construction. This Final Rule shows how workers should be protected from exposure from the very dangerous Respirable Crystalline Silica. Employers can then learn the ways to take steps in protecting their employees including providing respiratory protection, restricting exposure when housekeeping, implementing written exposure control plans, and much more. These rules will become enforced starting June 23, 2017.
The Risks of Respirable Crystalline Silica
Crystalline silica is actually a mineral that can be found at many construction sites. It is both naturally occurring and sometimes man-made. Respirable crystalline silica can be generated by high-energy operations such as cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling, and more. Here are some of the risks associated with this mineral:
- Lung cancer
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Kidney disease
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It is important that employers comply to help keep workers from disease that could affect them for the rest of their lives. They must establish written exposure control plans that designate a competent person at all times. They must also offer medical exams to employees who are required to wear a respirator under the standard for 30 or more days a year as well as keeping records of these medical examinations. Employers must determine if the silica standard applies to their employees and what action they must take if necessary.
Call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi for more information on how we can help you with your case. All employers must comply with OSHA standards at all times. When an employer does not take action and an employee is injured as a result, we are there to handle their case.