Starting on June 23, new OSHA regulations will go into effect limiting employees’ exposure to respirable crystalline silica. When I found out about this I thought… silica? I don’t even know what that is! But as our company did more research into this issue, I started to realize how important it is.
Why Silica is a Workplace Danger
Crystalline silica particles, basically tiny pieces of quartz, are invisible to the naked eye and about 100 times smaller than a grain of beach sand. Exposure to crystalline silica disables or kills hundreds of workers in the U.S. every year.
Crystalline silica is created during work operations involving stone, rock, concrete, brick, mortar, plaster, and industrial sand. It’s found in various manufacturing facilities where grinding, blasting and polishing are performed as well as mining, construction, and farms. It’s even found in places where you might not expect it; like in blue jean factories where they sandblast denim.
What You Can Do To Protect your Employees
If your company is involved in any of these manufacturing operations, then you need to be aware of the issue and what to do about it. OSHA says that the training requirement is performance-based meaning that employees need to demonstrate knowledge of the new rules. So, communication will be critical. For our customers, we’re adding videos on this topic into our regular workplace digital signage content rotation so that employees will be exposed to it regularly.
When it comes to subjects like safety, PPE, lockout/tagout and now crystalline silica, our customers rely on us to help inform their employees every day. We cover these issues deeply, by producing visually engaging content on topics that really matter. Check out some examples at the bottom of this page.