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Title: Silica Dust
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Goal: this task will increase the success of the goal to apply Cal/OSHA safety suggestions.
John Mitchell published this Cognitive Task at under Industry | Construction
Doers: 1 | Form: Cognitive Task | Phase: Engagement | Type: Pre-Event | Level: 1 | Code:
Start: Oct 15, 2019 | When: | Duration: 5 Minute(s)
  • The next Steps cover Cal/OSHA safety regulations for Silica Dust. Where appropriate, we have referenced the code from Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations.

    The topics we will cover in this isoBlog are:

    -Silica Containing Materials
    -Monitor and Control Exposure
    -Dust Reduction System
    -Evaluation of Operations

    After each of the next Steps, select the 'successful' response to indicate that you have read and understand the Step.

    Select 'successful' now and proceed.
  • Silica Containing Materials

    Construction work that involves exposure to crystalline silica containing materials can cause lung diseases. These silica containing materials include (but are not limited to):

    • Airborne sand
    • Rock
    • Ceramic and terracotta tiles
    • Concrete and concrete block
    • Manufactured stone
    • Roof tiles
    • Bricks and blocks
    • Grouts and mortar
    • Some joint compounds
    • Abrasive materials
  • Hazards

    Exposure to crystalline silica can cause a variety of lung diseases including silicosis, lung cancer, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), decreased lung function, and increased likelihood of getting tuberculosis.

    Although most cases of silicosis develop after years of exposure, instances of extremely high exposure have resulted in illness and even death in a matter of weeks. Airborne permissible exposure limits (PELs) are established for several different forms of crystalline silica. These limits range from 0.05 to 0.1 mg/m3 of respirable dust, expressed as an 8hour TWA (see Table AC-1 of 5155).

    Hazardous work activities include abrasive blasting with sand and loading, dumping, chipping, hammering, cutting, and drilling of rock, sand, or concrete.

    Generally during work on materials, such as rock or concrete that contain a significant amount of silica (20% or greater), continuous exposure to a visible cloud of dust will probably result in levels of exposure that exceed the PELs. However, in some cases the PELs can be exceeded even when there is no visible cloud of dust.

    For additional information on the hazards and control of silica exposures see the Hazards of Silica in Construction eTool (

    Before beginning work that could expose employees to crystalline silica, employers must comply with the following requirements detailed in Step 4 through 6 below.
  • Monitor and Control Exposure

    Employers must monitor and control employees’ exposure to airborne contaminants. 5155(c),(e), 1530
  • Dust Reduction System

    During operations in which powered tools or equipment are used to cut, grind, core, or drill rock, concrete or masonry materials, a dust reduction system shall be applied to control employee exposures to airborne particulate. For exceptions see 1530.1.
  • Evaluation of Operations

    Operations in which employees may be repeatedly exposed to rock dust or sand should be evaluated by an individual competent in industrial hygiene practice. Assistance can also be obtained from the Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.
  • Training

    Employers must train supervisors and employees prior to their job assignments. The training shall be provided at least annually and include, but not be limited to, the following:

    -Safety and health hazards of silica dust overexposure

    -Methods used by the employer to control employee exposures to airborne silica dust

    -Proper use and maintenance of dust reduction systems

    -The importance of good personal hygiene and housekeeping practices

    -Proper use of respirators when required. 5144, 5194
  • How much did this isoBlog help you to understand the Cal/OSHA safety regulations for Silica Dust, including:

    -Silica Containing Materials
    -Monitor and Control Exposure
    -Dust Reduction System
    -Evaluation of Operations

    Select your response below.
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