OSHA standards could change on silica exposure

OSHA standards could change on silica exposure

No matter what industry your company operates in, it is essential to your workers to comply with all areas of OSHA maintenance. Otherwise, it can put in peril valued employees as well as those in areas nearby, whether through deferred work or improperly conducted maintenance. With new standards being released with regularity, it’s important to keep abreast of them in order to operate a safe and secure workplace.

New release focuses on silica exposure
OSHA estimates that almost 2.2 million people in the United States are given a daily exposure to silica through their work, which creates a number of health hazards, according to Reuters Health. Many of those are men and women operating in areas such as construction or maintenance – nearly any profession that involves any sort of sawing or drilling of surfaces such as brick or drywall, according to American Recycler – and it’s essential to limit their risks.

The malady silicosis is the most well known that has been tied to such exposure, but increasingly studies have noted a correlation between silica exposure and lung cancer, according to the source. Because the silica particles are so small, they can be inhaled with ease into the lung and penetrate deeply once inside. The current standard is from 1971, but due to the new studies, there are predictions that OSHA will be changing the figure from 0.1 milligrams per cubic meter of air to 0.05 mg. It remains upĀ in the air at this point, but many – such as Mary Steenland, author of one study on silica exposure – think that it will soon be changed.

“I’m fairly confident that this standard will be put into place,” Steenland said, according to the source.

There could be, within the rules, variability in place, allowing for companies with greater or lesser exposure to determine exactly what needs to be done, an OSHA spokesperson told American Recycler.

“”Importantly, the proposed rule focuses on exposures of individual employees,” the spokesperson said. “Personal air monitoring equipment, which workers wear on their clothing to measure exposures in their breathing zone, is routinely used to measure exposures as crews move through several locations in a day and where weather conditions may vary.”

It is good news for those who work in areas such as facility maintenance management, who will now see safer workplaces – OSHA estimates that thousands of cases could be prevented each year. But it remains essential for your company to do your best to confront all projects while staying in compliance with OSHA. Computerized maintenance management software can be a vital tool in this difficult task. Maintenance is important work to conduct safely, but it is not always easy – it’s important to utilize the most cutting-edge technologies available to you to make sure your business remains on task.

To learn more about eRPortal, visit www.erportalsoftware.com or contact us at (866) 326-2757

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