Workers in various industries can be exposed to dangerous airborne contaminants. The dangers range from nuisance level dusts to serious, life-threatening exposure, each requiring respiratory products at various levels of protection.
Crystalline silica is one of the most common elements on the planet, just behind oxygen. About 2.3 million workers are exposed to it in their workplace. It’s about 100 times smaller than sand and can be found on construction sites in building materials such as concrete, block, stone, sand, and mortar.
Crystalline silica is an abundant natural material found in soil, stone and sand. It is also present in many construction materials such as brick, mortar and concrete. It becomes respirable when any of the afore-mentioned materials are cut or broken down into fine particles.
Crystalline silica is one of the most common minerals found worldwide in the earth’s crust. It is frequently used in many industrial processes such as mining, quarrying and stone-cutting. Breathing air contaminated with crystalline silica particles can cause serious respiratory and lung diseases.
“This year we’re getting particular about protection against particulates,” declares the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on its N95 Day 2018 web page, which it is using to promote the proper use of the widely used NIOSH-certified respirators.
If there is any one thing that creates a win-win with respiratory protection, especially in terms of return on investment, it is comfort. We will discuss how comfort improves safety and productivity, and explore some of the best ways to ensure comfort.
OSHA has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to add two quantitative fit-testing protocols to the agency's Respiratory Protection Standard. The protocols would apply to employers in the general, shipyard and construction industries.
Appendix A of the standard contains mandatory respirator fit-testing methods that employers must use to ensure their employees' respirators fit properly and protect the wearer.
An estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces throughout the United States. The general industry standard protects the health of employees from harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, and vapors.
Among the articles in the January 2020 issue of ISHN Magazine, we review the most violated OSHA standards, Part 2 of Larry Wilson's 'Rethinking Traditional Safety' column series, insight from safety experts, and much more.