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respirable crystalline silica

Respirable Crystalline Silica

Hicks Health & Safety has worked in various capacities with the NIOSH in their Field Effort to Assess Chemical Exposure Risks to Gas and Oil Workers that thrust silica into the spotlight as a hazard during hydraulic fracturing activities at well sites. We have characterized the efficacy of various engineering controls aimed at reducing respirable dust and thereby worker exposures to silica. In addition, HHS personnel have collected personal breathing zone samples from many of these workers.

Handing proppant (sand) on a well site can result in a significant health hazard to workers and requires attention. OSHA has recognized this and has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that outlines the proposed requirements of this new workplace standard that include a much lower permissible exposure limit.   Let HHS personnel help you solve this complex issue by offering silica-specific hazard training to your personnel, helping you define access control zones, or by characterizing worker exposures.

OSHA Update:  Silica Standards

In June of this year (2016), OSHA plans to promulgate 29 CFR 1910.1053 and 1926.1153.  These are chemical specific standards designed to protect general industry and construction workers against diseases associated with exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS).  

Fact Sheets:

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3682.pdf

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3681.pdf

Handing sand, mixing cement, abrasive etching, and manufacturing brick or asphalt can result in exposure to this very significant workplace health hazard.  Health effects from exposure to silica include:

  • Silicosis
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Lung cancer
  • Kidney disease

Let HHS personnel help you solve this complex issue by characterizing worker exposures, identifying engineering controls that bring the exposure level below the PEL, offering silica-specific hazard training to your personnel, helping you define access control zones, or by developing your written exposure plan.