Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica / Effective June 23, 2016
The rule requires that employers limit workers' exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust, which can become airborne during tasks such as cutting, grinding, drilling, or crushing materials containing crystalline silica such as brick, concrete, stone or mortar. Workers can also be exposed to respirable crystalline silica during operations that involve the use of industrial sand and abrasive blasting with sand. Typical methods to reduce or eliminate dust in the air include wetting down the operation or using local exhaust ventilation. In addition to requirements to limit workers' exposure, the rule requires employers to take other steps to protect workers, such as providing training to workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica and offering medical exams to highly exposed workers.