We’re not done with Silica, are you ready for what’s coming next?

February 28, 2018 | Blog | Industry News

Now that we’ve all settled down and have accepted that the Silica standard for construction is here to stay, it’s time for us to shift our attention to another silica standard that is about to take effect.  OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for General Industry and Maritime is coming and we need to start preparing now.  June 23rd 2018 is right around the corner, let’s not let this one get here before we are ready.  The action level and the permissible exposure level for an 8-hour day are the same as construction, 25 µg/m3 is the action level and 50 µg/m3 is the PEL.

There are a few items you need to complete if you believe your company is going to be affected by this standard.

1) Determine the amount of silica that workers are exposed to;

– Get an industrial hygienist in to do an evaluation

2) Protect workers from exposure above the 50 µg/m3 permissible exposure level over an 8-hour day;

3) Limit access to areas where workers could be exposed to silica above the PEL;

4) Use dust controls and safer work methods to protect workers;


5) Provide Respirators when dust control and safer work methods cannot limit exposures to PEL;

– Ensure you are compliant with and following the 1910.134 respirator protection standard

6) Establish and implement a written exposure control plan that identifies tasks that involve exposure and methods used to protect workers;

7) Restrict Housekeeping practices that expose workers to silica;

8) Offer medical exams;

– Every 3 years for workers exposed at or above the action level for 30 or more days a year.

9) Train your workers on the health effects of silica exposure, workplace tasks that can expose them to silica, and ways to limit exposure;

10) Keep records of workers’ silica exposure and medical exams.

It may seem like we have a lot of time, but June is going to be here sooner than we think.  If you have any questions or need assistance.  Please contact us here at MSC Safety Solutions (303) 477-1044

This will send you to the OSHA Fact Sheet on Respirable Crystalline Silica


Author: Dax Biederman