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Silica Safety Training


Silica Safety Training

English & Spanish Classes Available

29 CFR 1926.1153

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America’s workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule is compromised of two standard, one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime.

OSHA estimates that the rule will save over 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year, once its effects are fully realized. The final rule is projected to provide net benefits of about $7.7 billion, annually.

About 2.3 million workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in their workplaces, including 2 million construction workers who drill, cut, crush, or grind silica-containing materials such as concrete and stone, and 300,000 workers in general industry operations such as brick manufacturing, foundries, and hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Responsible employers have been protecting workers from harmful exposure to respirable crystalline silica for years, using widely-available equipment that controls dust with water or a vacuum system.

What Does The Standard Require?

The standard requires to limit worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica and to take other steps to protect workers. The standard provides flexible alternatives, especially useful for small employers. Employers can either use a control method laid out in Table 1 of the construction standard, or they can measure workers exposure to silica and independently decide which dust controls work best to limit exposures to the PEL in their workplace. Regardless of which exposure control method is used, all construction employers covered by the standard are required to:

  • Establish and implement a written exposure control plan identifies tasks that involve exposure and methods used to protect workers, including procedures to restrict access to work areas where high exposures may occur
  • Designate a competent person to implement the written exposure control plan
  • Restrict housekeeping practices that expose workers to silica where feasible alternatives are available
  • Offer medical exams – including chest X-rays and lung function tests – every three years for workers who are required by the standard to wear a respirator for 30 or more days per year.
  • Train workers on work operation that result in silica exposure and ways to limit exposure
  • Keep records of workers silica exposure and medical exams



Crystalline silica is an important industrial material found abundantly in the earth’s crust. Quartz, the most common form of silica, is a component of sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar. Materials containing quartz are found in a wide variety of workplace.

Silica dust is hazardous when very small (respirable) particles are inhaled. These respirable dust particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause disabling and sometimes fatal lung diseases, including silicosis and lung cancer, as well as kidney disease.

Occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica occurs when cutting, sawing, drilling and crushing of concrete, brick, ceramic, tiles, rock, and stone products. Occupational exposure also occurs in operations that process or use large quantities of sand, such as foundries and the glass, pottery and concrete products industries. OSHA estimates that more than 2.3 million workers in the United States are potentially exposed to dust containing crystalline silica with nearly 90% of those workers employed in the construction industry.


According to the white paper, silica-qualified person:

Has a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing in an occupational health, safety, environmental, or engineering field (e.g. CIH, CSP, PE)

Has extensive knowledge, training and experience in hazards and control of silica hazards on the construction site through formal training and/or extensive, firsthand experience in anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of worker silica exposure; and

Can make quantitative assessments of worker exposure and recommend detailed control measures.

The person also should be able to identify silica, understand the hazards and routes of exposure, be able to determine if silica is present and is knowledgeable about published exposure level ranges from common construction construction job and understand the controls used to minimize the risk of water exposure to silica.

Not only must you train employees but you must store records of training for three years.


This 4-hour training program is designed to help companies comply with the OSHA Respirable Silica Standard.

Upon completion the student will receive a certificate and wallet card.