Silica Awareness Training

3-E Safety Services, LLC conducts training on Silica Awareness (Crystalline Silica). The class takes anywhere from 30-minutes to 1-hour, depending on the depth of the training requested.

Crystalline silica is a common mineral found in the earth's crust. Materials like sand, stone, concrete, and mortar contain crystalline silica. It is also used to make products such as glass, pottery, ceramics, bricks, and artificial stone.

Respirable crystalline silica – very small particles at least 100 times smaller than ordinary sand you might find on beaches and playgrounds – is created when cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling, and crushing stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar. Activities such as abrasive blasting with sand; sawing brick or concrete; sanding or drilling into concrete walls; grinding mortar; manufacturing brick, concrete blocks, stone countertops, or ceramic products; and cutting or crushing stone result in worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica dust. Industrial sand used in certain operations, such as foundry work and hydraulic fracturing (fracking), is also a source of respirable crystalline silica exposure. About 2.3 million people in the U.S. are exposed to silica at work.

Workers who inhale these very small crystalline silica particles are at increased risk of developing serious silica-related diseases, including:

  • Silicosis, an incurable lung disease that can lead to disability and death;
  • Lung cancer;
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); and
  • Kidney disease.

To better protect workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica, OSHA has issued two new respirable crystalline silica standards: one for construction, and the other for general industry and maritime. OSHA began enforcing most provisions of the standard for construction on September 23, 2017 and began enforcing most provisions of the standard for general industry and maritime on June 23, 2018. 3-E Safety’s Silica Awareness class lets workers know about what these standards state and ways to ensure that the standards are being complied with.

Everyone involved in tasks that produce silica dust, including project managers, foremen, superintendents, and workers should receive training before being assigned work. 3-E Safety Services’ training will address:

  • Identifying the materials and tasks that create silica hazards;
  • The dust-generating operations that will be undertaken and how the employer plans to control the dust (the silica control plan);
  • The health risks;
  • Working safely with silica, including proper use of equipment, protective clothing, and appropriate hygiene practices;
  • The identity of the competent person designated by the employer to implement the silica control plan and inspect the job site, materials and equipment; and
  • The purpose and description of the medical surveillance program.

3-E Safety Services Instructors also have the ability to teach supervisors and others responsible for safety on how to implement the employer’s silica control plan.