Why is OSHA publishing a new standard?
For managers with safety responsibilities, many things come to mind when the phrase “health hazard” is brought up. Many of us conjure up images of welding fumes, tobacco smoke, or maybe even exotic hazards such as radioactivity. However, health hazards extend far beyond our traditional ideas. One such innocuous health hazard, no less deadly than those previously mentioned, is Respirable Crystalline Silica. Entering the airways of workers by processes using sand, earth, and minerals, this form of microscopic dust is the cause of silicosis, which takes some 600 lives every year. In response, OSHA has issued a new standard for general industry to protect workers from the hazards of Respirable Crystalline Silica.