Know the Risks of Silica Dust Exposure

Silica Dust regulations have been made much stricter in order to protect workers. Any material that contains crystalline silica is dangerous when it is cut, ground, or drilled. Particulars or dust from the silica can get into worker's lungs and cause a lung disease known as silicosis. Silicosis cannot be cured and can be deadly. OSHA expects employers to follow the exposure limit (PEL) of 50 μg/m3, averaged over an eight-hour workday.

You may be at risk for exposure if:

  • Work with industrial sand for foundry work or hydraulic fracturing
  • Abrasive blasting with sand
  • Manufacturing of glass, pottery, ceramic, brick, concrete, asphalt roofing, jewelry, artificial stone, dental, porcelain, or clay products

3 Methods to Prevent Silica Dust Exposure

  • Table method: A table has been created listing the different tasks and equipment control methods that OSHA has determined will reduce the exposure to the acceptable level.
  • Performance or objective data: Employers are permitted to use objective data to provide evidence that the control methods reduce the exposure limit to below the PEL. This could be air monitoring compiled by the employer or a third party that is sufficient to indicate the exposure.
  • Scheduled air monitoring program: Exposure can be assessed through a dedicated air monitoring program where the employer generates its own data. Employers using this option are required to implement such a program when workers are exposed over the 25 μg/m3 action level over an eight-hour control period, and also to implement control methods.

Other Ways to Prevent Exposure:

  • Limit access to areas where workers could be exposed
  • Use dust controls and safer work methods
  • Provide respirators to workers
  • Restrict housekeeping practices that expose workers to silica
  • Train workers on the health effects of silica exposure, workplace tasks that can expose them to silica, and ways to limit exposure

How EDCO Products Can Help You:

  • All EDCO Vacuums come with standard MicroClean filters that capture silica at 99% efficient @0.5 Microns.
  • The HEPA 2.0 kit is also available which can be combined with the MicroClean filter. The combination of these far exceeds the OHSA standards.
  • EDCO offers the products to effectively protect you workers and keep them safe.

OHSA Fact Sheet

Silica Facts

Preventing Worker Exposure to Silica Dust

EDCO Information

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