When workers inhale very small pieces of crystalline silica they are risk for a number of serious conditions. Silica exposure can be deadly, workers who inhale silica are at risk for silicosis, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease.
Those who are at risk are workers whose work operations involve stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, mortar, and industrial sand. The exposure typically occurs when these materials are cut, sawed, drilled, ground or crushed. Workers whose operations include using industrial sand products and fracking operations are also at risk for this exposure.
OSHA has submitted a proposal, encouraging the public to help pass a rule ensuring healthily working conditions for employees. It is estimated that the proposed rule with save nearly 700 lives a year and prevent 1,600 new cases of silicosis.
Visit OSHA to learn more about the proposed rules that will help prevent exposure to workers.