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Silicosis Lawyer

WILLIS
LAW FIRM

5252 Westchester St.
Suite #275
Houston, Texas

TOLL FREE
1(800)883-9858
1(800)468-4878

 

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Silicosis - OSHA & NIOSH Recommended Limits of Silica Dust Exposure

NIOSH:

The NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) for respirable crystalline silica is 0.05 mg/m^3 (50g/m^3) as a TWA for up to 10 hours/day during a 40-hour workweek [NIOSH 1974].

 NIOSH recommends the following measures to reduce exposures to respirable crystalline silica in the workplace and to prevent silicosis and deaths in construction workers:

 1. Recognize when silica dust may be generated and plan ahead to eliminate or control the dust at the source.  Awareness and planning are keys to prevention of silicosis.

 2. Do not use silica sand or other substances containing more than 1% crystalline silica as abrasive blasting materials.  Substitute less hazardous materials.

 3. Use engineering controls and containment methods such as blast-cleaning machines and cabinets, wet drilling, or wet sawing of silica-containing materials to control the hazard and protect adjacent workers from exposure.

 4. Routinely maintain dust control systems to keep them in good working order.

 5.Practice good personal hygiene to avoid unnecessary exposure to other work site contaminants such as lead.

 6. Wear disposable or washable protective clothes at the work site.

 7. Shower (if possible) and change into clean clothes before leaving the work site to prevent contamination of cars, homes, and other work areas.

 8. Conduct air monitoring to measure worker exposures and ensure that controls are providing adequate protection for workers.

 9. Use adequate respiratory protection when source controls cannot keep silica exposures below the NIOSH REL.

 10. Provide periodic medical examinations for all workers who may be exposed to respirable crystalline silica.

 11. Post warning signs to mark the boundaries of work areas contaminated with respirable crystalline silica.

 12. Provide workers with training that includes information about health effects, work practices, and

 13. Report all cases of silicosis to State Health Departments and OSHA.

OSHA Exposure Limits for Silica Dust Exposure

The current OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica (quartz) is 100 g/m3 as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) [29 CFR** 1910.1000]. The NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) for respirable crystalline silica is 50 g/m3 as a TWA for up to 10 hours/day during a 40-hour workweek [NIOSH 1974b]. This REL is intended to prevent silicosis. However, evidence indicates that crystalline silica is a potential occupational carcinogen [NIOSH 1988a; IARC 1987; DHHS 1991], and NIOSH is reviewing the data on carcinogenicity.

Warning Signs

Signs should be posted to warn workers about the hazard and specify any protective equipment required (for example, respirators). The sample sign in Figure 2 contains the information needed for a silica work area where respirators are required.

Silicosis Lawyer


Sample of warning sign for work areas contaminated with crystalline silica.

Training for Silica Workers

Workers should receive training [29 CFR 1926.21] that includes the following:

  • Information about the potential adverse health effects of silica exposure
  • Material safety data sheets for silica, alternative abrasives, or other hazardous materials [29 CFR 1926.59]
  • Instruction about obeying signs that mark the boundaries of work areas containing crystalline silica
  • Information about safe handling, labeling, and storage of toxic materials [30 CFR 56.20012, 56.16004, 57.20012, 77.208]
  • Discussion about the importance of engineering controls, personal hygiene, and work practices in reducing crystalline silica exposure
  • Instruction about the use and care of appropriate protective equipment (including protective clothing and respiratory protection)

Surveillance and Disease Reporting of Silicosis

NIOSH encourages reporting of all cases of silicosis to the State health departments and to OSHA or MSHA. To enhance the uniformity of reporting, NIOSH has developed reporting guidelines and a surveillance case definition for silicosis (see Appendix). This definition and these guidelines are recommended for surveillance of work-related silicosis by State health departments and regulatory agencies receiving reports of cases from physicians and other health care providers [CDC 1990].

For More Information see www.osha.gov

Contact a Silicosis Lawyer


Contact a Silicosis AttorneyIf you or a loved one have been diagnosed with silicosis then call us for a Free Confidential Consultation. Talk to Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer with over 20 years of experience. Know your rights under the law. To learn more call or e-mail us. (Click Here)
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Silicosis Lawyer

Find out if you are eligible for a silicosis lawsuit. Remember all silicosis legal actions and claims are handled by a contingency fee contract. That means you pay us no attorneys or court expenses unless we obtain a legal award or monetary recovery for you. Call us toll free to discuss your case.
(Silicosis Legal Help)
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Silicosis Attorney

How could I have gotten silicosis if I always worn a paper dust mask ? What type of respirator works to prevent silica exposure ? Do I have a case if I never worn any type of protection at all ?
(Silica Exposure)

Silicosis Lawyer

I never saw any silicosis warnings on any sand products, paper dust masks, hoods or sandblasting pots or any equipment until a few years ago. Are any of these companies responsible for failing to warn me about the hazards of silicosis ?
(Silica Warnings)

Silicosis Lawyer

Why do sandblasters get silicosis so often ? If I wear a paper mask under my hood will I be safe ? Can other people such as painters and other construction workers be exposed to silica dust 20 - 50 yds away from where I am sandblasting ? Is there a safe amount of silica that one can breath ? Is there a safe way to sandblast without getting silicosis ?
(Sandblasting)

Silicosis Lawyer

Besides shortness of breath, loss of appetite and chest pains are there any other symptoms for silicosis lung disease ? What types of medical tests are available to diagnose silicosis ? Is there a medical cure or any effective treatment for silicosis ?
(Silicosis Treatment)

 



 

Mr. Willis is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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