How Does Silica Get Into The Lungs?
The OSHA PEL Explained
What Contractors Need to Know About the OSHA PEL
Silica is an important topic in the construction industry with the new rule passed by OSHA, which reduced the permissible exposure limit (PEL) to 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air (μg/m3), averaged over an 8-hour day.
The new rule requires employers to use engineering controls to limit worker exposure, develop a written exposure control plan, and train workers on silica risks, among other requirements.
The new OSHA PEL was approved in 2016, with employers in the construction industry required to comply by June 23, 2017.
What does all this mean to the average contractor? We’ve created this silica dust resource page for contractors and industry professionals to help answer that question.
Using this page you’ll:
1) Understand OSHA PEL in simple terms
2) Know how to inexpensively test your silica exposure
3) Understand your options for controlling silica dust
What is the OSHA PEL?
‘Permissible Exposure Limit’ is the legal limit established by OSHA for worker exposure to silica. In simple terms, how much dust a worker is legally allowed to breath over an eight hour period.
The PEL is determined by three factors: Air, Dust and Time. For us to understand the PEL we need to have a better grasp of each factor.
Education and Silica Dust Solutions
Silica dust is a major problem affecting the construction industry. One thing we know is it won’t go away by ignoring it.
With the new OSHA rule being enforced June 2017, contractors will have two choices: a) address the problem proactively through education and informed decisions, or b) wait until the problem comes to you in the form of a citation, lawsuit, or serious health issues.
What can you do about it? Start with education.
The fact is a majority of those affected by the silica dust problem know very little about it, or even that there is a problem. That’s why the solution must start with education. Use this page and the resources linked below to educate yourself and your workers about silica.
Know the Hazard
Understand the hazard and risks associated with silica exposure.
Know the Standards
Understand the OSHA PEL and what it means to you, your business and your workers.
Know Your Exposure
Understand how to use air monitoring to measure silica exposure levels and understand the results.
Know Your Options
Understand your options, including tools, work practices and educational resources for controlling silica exposure on your job sites.
iQ Power Tools and the War on Silica Dust
iQ Power Tools manufactures the world’s first and only power tools with integrated dust collection technology for the concrete, masonry, hardscape and tile industries. As contractors for over 30 years, we dealt with dust problems and breathed the dust ourselves for years.
Our goal is to see the construction industry 100% dust free. We aim to achieve that goal through education and the development of professional tools and technology to eliminate silica dust from job sites.
Know the standard. Know your exposure. Know your options.
And take action.
iQ’s OSHA Silica Standard 2016 Webinar
OSHA Table One
Work Practice Options