Controlling silica exposure

In many industries, it is now common to find high-energy operations that can generate respirable crystalline silica. Base materials such as sand, concrete, brick, block, stone, and mortar combined with cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling, or crushing creates a risk for exposure to respirable crystalline silica. Crystalline silica is also a component used to make certain products: glass, pottery, ceramics, bricks, concrete and artificial stone. Adding to the challenge of controlling exposure, respirable crystalline silica is generally at least 100 times smaller than ordinary sand.

To protect employees from inhaling silica dust, OSHA has developed respirable silica standards to minimize serious health effects of exposure. Our consultants help employers understand OSHA silica standards and how their organization can comply with the regulations, both for construction and other general industries and maritime.


Protect against silica dust exposure in your industry

Our health and safety specialists provide consulting for organizations that use material or processes that release respirable crystalline silica.

  • Evaluate employee exposures to crystalline silica through assessment and personal sampling
  • Compare exposure monitoring results to the current OSHA Action Level and PEL
  • Assist with silica and OSHA training and documentation
  • Provide guidance to reduce employee exposure

As stated, our services include monitoring the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica. OSHA limits exposure to respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3) over an eight-hour day with an action level of 25 µg/m3 over an eight-hour day.

Industries Affected by OSHA Silica Standards

  • Construction
  • Glass manufacturing
  • Pottery and ceramics products
  • Structural clay products
  • Concrete and ready-mix products
  • Foundries
  • Dental laboratories
  • Paintings and coatings
  • Jewelry production
  • Refractory and furnace operations
  • Landscaping
  • Stone products
  • Abrasive blasting operations
  • Railroads
  • Hydraulic fracturing – gas and oil
  • Asphalt products