Small Entity Guide for the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard in Construction

Workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica are at increased risk of
developing serious adverse health effects including silicosis, lung cancer,
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease. A guide, published
by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is intended to help small
businesses understand and comply with the Occupational Safety and Health's
Respirable Crystalline Silica standard for Construction. This guide describes
the steps that employers are required to take to protect employees in
construction from the hazards associated with exposure to respirable
crystalline silica. Employers in industries other than construction should
refer to the small entity compliance guide for occupational exposure to
respirable crystalline silica in general industry and maritime.

What is Respirable Crystalline Silica?
Crystalline silica is a common mineral found in many naturally occurring and
man-made materials used at construction sites. Materials like sand, concrete,
brick, block, stone and mortar contain crystalline silica. Amorphous silica,
such as silica gel, is not crystalline silica.
Respirable crystalline silica - very small particles typically at least 100
times smaller than ordinary sand found on beaches or playgrounds - is generated
by high-energy operations like cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling and crushing
stone, rock, concrete, brick, block and mortar, or when abrasive blasting with

Exposures to respirable crystalline silica occur when the following tools are
used on concrete, brick, block, stone, mortar, and other materials that contain
crystalline silica:
- Stationary masonry saws;
- Handheld power saws;
- Walk-behind saws;
- Drivable saws;
- Rig-mounted core saws or drills;
- Handheld and stand-mounted drills (including impact and rotary hammer drills);
- Dowel drilling rigs;
- Vehicle-mounted drilling rigs;
- Jackhammers and handheld powered chipping tools;
- Handheld grinders;
- Walk-behind milling machines and floor grinders;
- Drivable milling machines;
- Crushing machines; and
- Heavy equipment and utility vehicles when used to abrade or fracture
silicacontaining materials (such as hoeramming or rock ripping) or during
demolition activities, and for tasks such as grading and excavating.

Exposures to respirable crystalline silica also occur during tunneling
operations and during abrasive blasting when sand or other blasting agents
containing crystalline silica are used, or when abrasive blasting is performed
on substrates that contain crystalline silica, such as concrete.

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AplusA-online.de - Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration