Safety Tip of the Week – Silica Safety

Silica Safety

In June 2017, OSHA released a final ruling on the use of silica, discussing all of the dangers that are associated with the consistent exposure of silica, and they noted that it’s been directly linked to more than 900 cases of silicosis, annually—which is a very deadly respiratory disease.


Protect against exposures to crystalline silica?

  1. Replace crystalline silica materials with safer substitutes, whenever possible.

  2. Provide engineering or administrative controls, where feasible, such as local exhaust ventilation and blasting cabinets. Where necessary to reduce exposures below the PEL, use protective equipment or other protective measures.

  3. Use all available work practices, such as water sprays, to control dust exposures.

  4. Wear only an N95 NIOSH-certified respirator, if respirator protection is required. Do not alter the respirator. Do not wear a tight-fitting respirator with a beard or mustache that prevents a good seal between the respirator and the face.

  5. Wear only a Type CE abrasive-blast supplied-air respirator for abrasive blasting.

  6. Wear disposable or washable work clothes, and shower if facilities are available. Vacuum the dust from your clothes and change into clean clothing before leaving the work site.

  7. Participate in training, exposure monitoring, and health screening and surveillance programs to monitor any adverse health effects caused by crystalline silica exposures.

  8. Be aware of the operations and the job tasks creating crystalline silica exposures in your workplace environment and know how to protect yourself.

  9. Be aware of the health hazards related to exposures to crystalline silica. Smoking adds to the lung damage caused by silica exposures.

  10. Do not eat, drink, smoke, or apply cosmetics in areas where crystalline silica dust is present. Wash your hands and face outside of dusty areas before performing any of these activities.

  11. Remember: If it’s silica, it’s not just dust.

    Working safely is like breathing – if you don’t…you die!!


Download flyer: STOTW_527_Silica Safety.pdf (855.58 kb)

Download Spanish flyer: STOTW_527_Silica_Safety_esp.pdf (856.13 kb)

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