- Define silica and identify its most common source materials.
- Describe the potential chronic health effects of chronic silica exposure.
- Recognize workplace activities that may generate airborne respirable silica.
- Describe basic methods to mitigate airborne silica dust.
- Describe actions that minimize the risk of exposure to crystalline silica.
- Describe the basics of combined protections that can be implemented to prevent exposure to silica-containing compounds.
This lesson is designed to improve the safety of workers in environments where silica exposure hazards exist by increasing employee awareness of this hazard and by demonstrating how the hazard can be recognized and addressed in the workplace.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America’s workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule is comprised of two standards, one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime.
OSHA estimates that the rule will save over 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year, once its effects are fully realized. The Final Rule is projected to provide net benefits of about $7.7 billion, annually.
About 2.3 million workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in their workplaces, including 2 million construction workers who drill, cut, crush, or grind silica-containing materials such as concrete and stone, and 300,000 workers in general industry operations such as brick manufacturing, foundries, and hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Responsible employers have been protecting workers from harmful exposure to respirable crystalline silica for years, using widely-available equipment that controls dust with water or a vacuum system.
- Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift.
- Requires employers to: use engineering controls (such as water or ventilation) to limit worker exposure to the PEL; provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure; limit worker access to high exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan, offer medical exams to highly exposed workers, and train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures.
- Provides medical exams to monitor highly exposed workers and gives them information about their lung health.
- Provides flexibility to help employers — especially small businesses — protect workers from silica exposure.
Both standards contained in the final rule take effect on June 23, 2016., after which industries have one to five years to comply with most requirements, based on the following schedule:
Construction – June 23, 2017, one year after the effective date.
General Industry and Maritime – June 23, 2018, two years after the effective date.
Hydraulic Fracturing – June 23, 2018, two years after the effective date for all provisions except Engineering Controls, which have a compliance date of June 23, 2021.
Not all training is equal. With SafetyNow, learners and leaders will notice the difference in value:
- Quality: Professionally-researched and designed using the latest mobile and responsive technologies
- Convenience: Works instantly on any device, desktop or mobile
- Time savings: What learners need to know, not extra fluff or legalese
- Reporting: Consistent, instant compliance records available anytime
- Support: Customer and learner support included at no charge
- Any Learning Management System (LMS) Use with any SCORM, AICC, xAPI, TinCan, HTML5, or other LMS (learning management system).
- Any Device Desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone – it simply works, everywhere.
- Engaging Professionally-developed, including an on-screen host and modern, easy-to-understand text, media, and voiceovers.
- Unlimited Attempts Each module can be taken as many times as required to get a passing grade. Unlike our competitor’s courses, if you get an answer wrong, you are redirected to the exact eLearning segment you struggled with… you don’t need to go through the entire module again, just the one part you need a refresher on.