Recently OSHA made a ruling regarding exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica. The team at Presco was quick to design a new legend to be printed on safety marking barricade tape to help protect others from coming into contact with the dust. Workers who inhale a very small crystalline silica particles are at increased risk of developing serious and often deadly silica-related diseases such as Silicosis, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease.
What is Crystalline Silica?
Crystalline silica is a common mineral that is found in materials that we see every day in roads, buildings, and sidewalks. It is a common component of sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar. Exposure to the crystalline silica takes place once, cutting, sawing, drilling and crushing of certain materials.
What industries are affected by OSHA’s ruling?
- Glass manufacturing
- Pottery products
- Structural clay products
- Concrete products
- Dental laboratories
- Paintings and coatings
- Jewelry production
- Refractory products
- Ready-mix concrete
- Cut stone and stone products
- Abrasive blasting in maritime, construction and general industry
- Refractory furnace installation and repair
- Railroad transportation
- Oil and gas operations
How will the rule protect workers?
The rule is designed to reduce the amount of silica dust workers can be exposed to on any certain job. Employers will have to implement controls and work practices that reduce workers’ exposure to silica dust. Employers will have to ensure that silica dust is wet down or vacuumed up to limit exposure. Employers are required under the rule to limit access to high exposure areas, provide training, provide respiratory protection when controls are not enough to limit exposure, provide written exposure control plans, and measure exposures in some cases. Employers are also required to offer medical examinations to highly exposed workers. Workers who find out they have an illness, such as lung disease, can use that information to make employment or lifestyle decisions to protect their health.
How can Presco help?
Though the rule is not effective until June 2018 for General Industry, Maritime and Hydraulic Fracturing, it is effective June 23, 2017, for the Construction industry. Therefore, Presco has already designed a new marking barricade tape specifically to identify areas of Crystalline Silica. The purpose would be to mark off the perimeter where the dust is present to cut down the exposure to the harmful mineral for all workers present. This tape also helps to remind workers to apply protective gear before entering the designated area.
This product is now available to add to your safety marking protocol. Please contact Customer Service at 800-527-3295 or your sales representative directly to get started today.
For more information on this ruling by OSHA you can visit, http://www.osha.gov/silica