Silica Legal Requirements
The federal government responded, and in 1938 Secretary of Labor Francis Perkins held a national conference on silicosis and launched a “Stop Silicosis” campaign, stating, “Our task is to apply techniques and principles to every known risk of quartz dust in American industry. We know the control methods – let`s put them into practice. Watch the video to learn more about the campaign. The OSHA rule requires medical surveillance for any affected employee exposed to silica above the promotional value for 30 days or more per year. Employers must schedule initial examinations within 30 days of the first assignment, unless the employee has already undergone a compliant medical examination within the last three years. Compliant medical examinations include: 2.2.1. The standard for respirable crystalline silica requires the following: A physical examination with a particular focus on the airways. The physical examination must be performed at the initial examination and every three years thereafter. This appendix specifies the procedures for analyzing air samples for respirable crystalline silica and the quality control procedures that employers must ensure that laboratories perform analyses in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1053(d)(5). Employers must ensure that such a laboratory: 1.2. Chronic silicosis.
Chronic silicosis is the most common form of silicosis and usually occurs after at least 10 years of exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The clinical presentation of chronic silicosis is: 2,6. Other tests. According to respirable crystalline silica standards, the PLHCP has the ability to order additional tests it deems appropriate. Additional tests may be ordered on a case-by-case basis, depending on individual signs or symptoms and clinical judgment. For example, if an employee reports a history of abnormal kidney function tests, the PLHCP may want to order a baseline kidney function test (such as serum creatinine and urinalysis). As mentioned above, the PLHCP may order annual TB testing for workers exposed to silica who are at high risk of developing active TB infection. Additional tests that PLHCPs may order based on the results of medical examinations include, but are not limited to, chest computed tomography (CT) scans for lung cancer or COPD, tests for immunological diseases, and cardiac tests for lung heart disease, such as the pulmonal horn. Abrasive shot blasting.
In addition to the requirements of paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the employer may be required to comply with other OSHA standards, such as 29 CFR 1910.94 (ventilation), 29 CFR 1915.34 (mechanical color removers) and 29 CFR 1915 Subpart I (personal protective equipment) if sandblasting is performed with abrasives containing crystalline silica or if sandblasting is performed on substrates containing crystalline silica. 1.5. COPD. COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, has been documented in employees exposed to silica, including those who do not develop silicosis. Regular spirometry tests are performed to screen each employee for progressive changes consistent with COPD development. In addition to assessing each employee`s spirometry results over time, PLHCPs may want to know general trends in spirometry results for groups of employees in the same workplace to identify potential problems that may arise in that workplace. (See Section 2 of this Annex on Medical Surveillance for further discussion.) Heart disease can develop secondary to lung diseases such as COPD. A recent 2014 study by Liu et al. found a significant exposure-response trend between cumulative silica exposure and deaths from heart disease, primarily due to lung heart disease such as the cor pulmonal.
No. The laboratory must follow certain test protocols and be accredited according to ANS/ISO/IEC 17025:2005 for the analysis of crystalline silica by an organization that has complained, among other things, about ISO/IEC 17011:2004 for the implementation of quality assessment programs. Appendix A of the silica rule lists all requirements applicable to laboratories. Expect the number of laboratories that meet these accreditations to increase significantly over the next few years. 1.3.1. Symptoms – shortness of breath, cough and sometimes sputum production. Employees exposed to respirable crystalline silica, particularly those with accelerated silicosis, are at high risk of activation of TB infections, atypical mycobacterial infections and fungal superinfections. Constitutional symptoms such as fever, weight loss, hemoptysis (coughing up blood) and fatigue can herald one of these infections or the onset of lung cancer. 2. The employer shall not permit the use of compressed air to clean clothing or surfaces where this activity could contribute to workers` exposure to respirable crystalline silica unless: On March 24, 2016, OSHA announced the final rule to protect workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica.
To learn more, click here, read the press release and watch the videos “Stop Silicosis – USDOL Announce Adoption of New Silica Standard” and “Stop Silicosis (2016)”. (b) a statement that the test has complied with the requirements of this Article; Fortunately for small businesses and construction companies, the OSHA Realoable Crystalline Silica Standard allows employers to measure their workers` exposure to silica and independently decide which dust controls work best in their workplace. This allows employers to apply the control methods listed in the following table: 3.1. PLHCP. The PLHCP designation refers to “a person whose legally eligible field of activity (i.e. license, registration or certification) allows them to independently or delegate responsibility for the provision of some or all of the special health services required by the standard for respirable crystalline silica.