OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction Poster
Because of the adverse health effects from exposure to respirable crystalline silica, OSHA has established permissible exposure limits (PEL) to respirable crystalline silica in the workplace and control measures that employers must implement to better protect their workers from exposure. Employer’s can use the OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction Poster to promote worker compliance with those control methods.
What is respirable crystalline silica?
Crystalline silica is a common mineral found in materials such as sand, stone, concrete, brick and mortar. Workers can inhale silica dust while performing activities such as abrasive sand blasting; sawing brick or concrete; sanding or drilling into concrete; grinding mortar; and manufacturing glass, pottery, ceramic, brick, concrete, asphalt roofing, jewelry, stone, dental, porcelain, or structural clay products. Crystalline silica dust is associated with serious and sometimes fatal diseases. To better protect workers, OSHA has lowered the respirable crystalline silica PEL to 50 μg/m3, averaged during an 8-hour work day. At and above that level, an employer must take measures to control workers’ exposure.
OSHA Compliance Requirements
Table 1 of OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for the Construction Industry identifies common construction tasks and equipment that produce respirable crytalline silica and the exposure control methods for those tasks. For each employee engaged in a task identified in Table 1, OSHA requires an employer “to fully and properly implement the engineering controls, work practices, and respiratory protection specified for the task on Table 1.” (29 CFR 1926.1153(c)(1)). Employers who fully and properly implement the controls in Table 1 do not have to keep employee exposures at or below the permissible exposure limit (PEL).
Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction Poster Description
The OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction Poster is based on Table 1 of the construction industry standard. The poster depicts various types of hand-operated equipment, such as circular saws and jackhammers, and the control measures for each task or piece of equipment, such as using water systems, HEPA-filtered vacuuming, and wearing a respirator. By posting a visual reference tool in the workplace, workers can easily determine the controls they must exercise for the task they are performing.
- Employers can use the OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction Poster as part of their required training programs.
- Employers should also consider using the Respirable Crystalline Silica Entrance Danger Sign as part of their required programs to limit access to areas where workers may be unnecessarily exposed.
- For more information, see OSHA’s Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction.