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Respirable Crystalline Silica

Crystalline Silica is a naturally occurring compound commonly found in soil, sand, rock, and other materials in nature. It is used in a variety of compounds used in building materials including, but not limited to, glass, stone, rock, slate, concrete, industrial sand, tile, plastic composites, wallboard joint compounds, caulking, and plaster. Respirable crystalline silica is approximately 100 times smaller than beach sand. If silica is disturbed through sawing, cutting, or grinding, the particles can be inhaled, causing irreversible lung disease as well as autoimmune disorders, kidney disease, enlargement of the heart and other pulmonary diseases.

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What's Involved

OSHA has recently begun to enforce their Rule on Respirable Crystalline Silica in Construction (29 CFR 1926.1153) as of October 23, 2017. Failure to implement this program may have more than just regulatory liability but also tort lability if your workers become sick. New requirements include development of a written control program for each site and retaining competent person staff that site.  The required plan must include provisions for sampling, engineering controls, recordkeeping, prohibited practices, medical surveillance and hazard communication.

What we can do about it

  • Develop site specific exposure control programs
  • Conduct compliance audits
  • Conduct initial and on-going exposure assessment
  • Collect and interpret objective data as defined under the rule
  • Provide a competent person as defined by OSHA to conduct onsite supervision/oversight
  • Provide expert witness testimony services

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