Tag Archive | "respirable crystalline silica"

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Health & Safety Watch: LATICRETE Launches ProjectSafety™ Campaign

Posted on 20 May 2021 by cradmin

LATICRETE, a manufacturer of construction solutions for the building industry, has launched the ProjectSafety™ campaign, a company-wide initiative that provides access to safety education and alternative installation techniques to help lower the staggering injury and ailment statistics associated with the construction industry. This industry’s workforce handles tasks that range from carrying heavy loads to performing repetitive tasks to safely navigating often chaotic job sites, manufacturing facilities, warehouses and laboratories, placing workers at risk of serious injury. The ProjectSafety mission is to raise awareness about the risks of construction installations and help educate the industry on ways to mitigate those risks.

In phase one, ProjectSafety is a focused effort toward educating construction workers in all trades, at all levels of projects and general contractors about the risks associated with respirable crystalline silica and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as best practices for back, knee, hand and eye safety in the workplace. Phases two and three will expand with added content to Laticrete University covering health and safety best practices, training and education about products that are safer to handle and install.

Later this year in ProjectSafety phase two, LATICRETE will help increase awareness by providing education about potential issues that can affect construction professionals via access to webinars, data sheets and product information through the ProjectSafety page on the LATICRETE website.
The goal of the campaign is for companies to adopt accountability measures to effectively execute safer installation methods, countermeasures and actions to lessen the risks and impact on the installer and their business, resulting in an improved work environment. These measures include specific practices such as:

  • proper bending and lifting techniques
  • knowledge of what products should be used or avoided on the jobsite
  • types of tools and PPE that should be worn and when
  • education on a variety of certification systems and what they mean in regards to safety protocols
  • how various lightweight and rapid curing product solutions can be implemented
  • how to limit exposure to harmful chemicals such as respirable crystalline silica and VOCs

For more information visit laticrete.com/projectsafety.

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Silica Dust Warning Sign

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OSHA Issues Guidance to Ensure Uniform Enforcement of Silica Standards

Posted on 13 July 2020 by cradmin3

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a compliance directive designed to ensure uniformity in inspection and enforcement procedures when addressing respirable crystalline silica exposures in general industry, maritime, and construction.

The new directive provides OSHA compliance safety and health officers with guidance on how to enforce the silica standards’ requirements, including:

  • Methods of compliance
  • Table 1 tasks and specified exposure control methods;
  • Exposure assessments;
  • Housekeeping;
  • Respiratory protection;
  • Regulated areas;
  • Recordkeeping;
  • Employee information and training;
  • Medical surveillance; and
  • Communication of hazards.           

The directive also provides clarity on major topics, such as alternative exposure control methods when a construction employer does not fully and properly implement Table 1, variability in sampling, multi-employer situations, and temporary workers.

OSHA began enforcing most provisions of the construction standard in September 2017, with enforcement of the requirements for sample analysis starting in June 2018. Enforcement of most of the general industry and maritime standards began in June 2018, with enforcement of some medical surveillance requirements commencing on June 23, 2020.

You may also be interested in this article: Natural Stone Institute Debuts Silica & Slab Safety Certificate Program

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Caesarstone Master of Stone

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Caesarstone Introduces Master of Stone Program

Posted on 02 April 2020 by cradmin

Caesarstone, manufacturer of quartz surfaces, has taken the lead on safety standards for the industry with the launch of MASTER OF STONE. The extensive program was created for fabricators and their employees and it focuses on issues of health and safety in the workplace with a special emphasis on creating a space free of the dangers of potentially hazardous Respirable Crystalline Silica dust, the root cause of Silicosis. Caesarstone is investing in its customers’ businesses with the MASTER OF STONE program, which will be free and available for use by anyone in the industry.

“We often hear feedback from fabricators around the world that safety guidelines can be complicated and confusing and that they lack knowledge about this issue,” said Elizabeth Margles VP of Marketing Caesarstone North America. “So we took on the challenge of making safety knowledge easily and clearly accessible to managers and employees in our industry by developing, among other means, a unique online Training Center especially for MASTER OF STONE. When dealing with the dust risk and its implications, we at Caesarstone are determined to become part of the solution by being proactive and leading the revolution to create a safer work environment for all.”

The MASTER OF STONE program formally launched on February 3, when the website and E-learning modules were released to all Caesarstone fabricators. The program will be available in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Hebrew.

While Caesarstone has always had a robust training and communications program for its fabricator partners, MASTER OF STONE is the result of many years of research and development to create a new concept and communication language to help fabricators and their employees to learn about Health & Safety and Professional know-how in the most efficient way across various platforms with added value content for fabrication plant managers. The fabricators website is an accessible platform for safety and professional content, which enables the presentation of complex material as user-friendly content. It will have a responsive design for mobile and tablets.

All the information will be available via the Caesarstone MASTER OF STONE Training Center website (https://mos.caesarstone.com), where information, guidelines, methods and collateral will be provided to all who enroll. The registration process for the Training Center is simple—each fabricator will be issued a unique factory code for both registration and login. The system automatically sends an email each time a team member registers or successfully completes one of the modules. The website also features a safety guidelines video for fabricators detailing ways to prevent the creation of hazardous dust and how to protect themselves from it. As well as “Silica Dust Health Hazards & Protection” video designed to support fabricators’ efforts to keep their businesses completely safe, created according to OSHA 2018 regulations.

You may also be interested in this article: OSHA Revises National Emphasis Program to Reduce or Eliminate Worker Exposure to Silica

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Effective January 24, 2008,the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is implementing a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to identify, reduce, and eliminate the health hazards associated with occupational exposure to crystalline silica.

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OSHA Revises National Emphasis Program to Reduce or Eliminate Worker Exposure to Silica

Posted on 10 March 2020 by cradmin

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established a revised National Emphasis Program (NEP) to identify and reduce or eliminate worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in general industry, maritime, and construction. The NEP targets specific industries expected to have the highest numbers of workers exposed to silica, and focuses on enforcement of the new silica standards, one for general industry and maritime (29 CFR § 1910.1053) and one for construction (29 CFR § 1926.1153). These standards became effective in June 2016, and construction employers were required to begin complying with their standard as of September 23, 2017, and general industry and maritime employers were required to begin complying with their standard as of June 23, 2018.

What changes were made to the NEP?

  • Revised application to the lower permissible exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) as an 8-hour time-weighted average in general industry, maritime, and construction;
  • Updated list of target industries, as listed in the appendix of the NEP; from this list, area offices will develop randomized establishment lists of employers in their local jurisdictions for targeted inspections;
  • Compliance safety and health officers will refer to current enforcement guidance for RCS inspection procedures;
  • All OSHA regional and area offices must comply with this NEP, but they are not required to develop and implement corresponding regional or local emphasis programs; and
  • State Plans must participate because of the nationwide exposures to silica.

OSHA will conduct 90 days of compliance assistance for stakeholders prior to beginning programmed inspections for the NEP.

Respirable crystalline silica consists of small silica particles that are generated by cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling, and crushing materials such as stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar. Inhaling the dust created during these operations can cause silicosis, an incurable lung disease, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. For more information on the health effects from silica exposure, and how employers can protect workers, visit OSHA’s Safety and Health Topics webpage on Crystalline Silica.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights. 

You may also be interested in this article: OSHA Increases Maximum Penalties.

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OSHA Releases Compliance Guide for Silica Standard

Posted on 25 November 2016 by CRadmin2

osha1On November 14, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) released its Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction. This guide was produced for small to mid-size businesses (SMBs) with employees to help them comply with the new rule for crystalline silica exposure. Although this rule is seen as controversial by some organizations in the construction and related industries, it has been passed and no further changes are expected in the foreseeable future.

This new compliance guide provides the actual wording of the new rule, and then details how to assess employee exposure and methods that can be used to lower exposure to below the levels set in the standard, such as respiratory protection and housekeeping practices. In addition, the guide includes chapters on medical surveillance, hazard communication and recordkeeping.

OSHA is set to begin enforcing the final rule as it pertains to construction on June 23, 2017. Enforcement for general and maritime industries has been delayed one year to June 23, 2018, and a separate compliance guide for these industries is currently in development.

As a reminder, the new rule concerning silica is the federal standard, but states retain the authority to create separate standards as long they meet the minimum requirements. Businesses in many states have had to comply with state standards that meet the new federal rule for several years now. Always check with your state OSHA or other state authority regarding compliance for respirable silica.

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