OSHA Silica Standard
September 23, 2019
The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is considering a possible revision of the Silica Standard Table 1, the primary guideline for regulating measures used to protect workers in construction and other industries from harmful silica dust exposure. The move suggests not enough is being done to prevent health problems caused by exposure to this widely used material. Without proper safety measures, workers exposed to silica dust are at a greater risk of lung diseases, including cancer.
Silica, or quartz, is a natural mineral found in sand, soil, granite, and other common materials. When silica breaks down by chiseling, grinding, or drilling, silica dust particles become airborne. Workers who are not protected from inhaling these particles risk serious, potentially fatal health problems.
Table 1 Silica Standard
The Table 1 Silica Standard informs workers performing a variety of specific construction tasks on what steps they should take to be protected from toxic exposure. Table 1 also describes the “written exposure control plan” every employer working with silica dust is required to establish and implement. Employers must review the plan every year and update as needed.
Revisions to the Silica Standard for construction would not only add new control methods to prevent exposure, but would also require general industry and maritime workers to comply with the same standard used by construction workers moving forward. If information and responses are submitted to support these revisions by November 2019, the changes will be entered into the Federal Register.
Workers and Silicosis
Business owners in Pennsylvania and throughout the country are expected to protect their employees from common work-related hazards, including silica dust exposure. Factory workers, construction workers, farmworkers, and laborers are especially susceptible to the dangers associated with this substance. If a worker becomes disabled by an injury or illness, they may be entitled to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits.
If you have been diagnosed with a toxic exposure illness, it is important to notify your employer immediately and seek medical treatment. Keep a private record of your illness and any medical records and expenses associated with your care. Filing a Workers’ Compensation claim is not always a simple process. It is best to seek the guidance of a Philadelphia work injury lawyer familiar with the risks of silica dust exposure.
Philadelphia Work Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Manage Claims for Clients Living with Silica Exposure Health Problems
The fact that OSHA is considering even more methods to control exposure to this dangerous material should make every person working with silica cautious. We depend on our employers to protect us from known hazards, but are they all they can? And what happens when these safety precautions are not enough? That is where Philadelphia work injury lawyers with the firm Galfand Berger LLP step in
We will review all of the factors surrounding your injury or illness to determine the best legal course of action to recover compensation for you. That may be a Workers’ Compensation claim or personal injury litigation, depending upon who is responsible for your injuries. The first step toward justice is a free, no obligation consultation.
Call 800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online to schedule yours today. With offices in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania including the areas of Harrisburg and Allentown.