Respirable Crystalline Silica in Construction: Preventing Exposure

Course Description:

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, exposure to respirable crystalline silica remains a serious threat to approximately 2 million workers in over 600,000 U.S. construction workplaces. Respirable crystalline silica, or silica, is a common mineral found in construction materials such as sand, stone, concrete, bricks, and mortar, and it has been classified as a human lung carcinogen. Additionally, breathing silica dust can cause silicosis, which, in severe cases, can be disabling or even fatal. The silica dust enters the lungs and causes the formation of scar tissue, thus reducing the lungs’ ability to take in oxygen. There is no cure for silicosis. The OSHA respirable crystalline silica rule for construction found at 29 Code of Federal Regulations, or CFR, 1926.1153 sets forth requirements, such as employee training, to significantly reduce the amount of silica dust that workers can be exposed to in the workplace. This training session will cover everything you need to know about respirable crystalline silica and how to protect yourself and others each day on the job.
Course Duration: 28 Minutes

Why “Respirable Crystalline Silica in Construction: Preventing Exposure” Matters:

Every year, more than 250 workers in the United States die from silicosis, an incurable, progressive lung disease caused by overexposure to dust containing silica. Hundreds more become disabled by this disease.

Key Points:

  • Identify the health hazards of exposure to silica dust.
  • Recognize the job tasks that could lead to exposure to silica dust.
  • Appreciate that their required access to the OSHA silica rule for construction and their employer’s written exposure control plan identify the protections the employer must provide to lessen the participants’ exposure.
  • Apply work practice methods to lessen silica dust exposure.
  • Realize the purpose and required availability of the medical surveillance program.