Silica Dust

The new OSHA Silica Standard scheduled to go into effect in September is making a difference, and so are our efforts to educate members and signatory contractors about the hazard, and ways to reduce or eliminate the risk for breathing in silica dust.

  • 55% of the members surveyed said they are aware of OSHA’s new silica dust Standard, and the data suggest that contractors are already implementing it. 85% of the members surveyed reported that, in the past year, they were provided with a vacuum or water system to control the dust when performing silica-generating work. What’s particularly important is the increase in the percentage of members who said they are “always” provided with a vacuum or water system, up from only 19% in 2011 to 26% in 2014 to 61% in 2017 – a 35% increase in just three years.

  • When asked whether additional information about the Standard would be helpful, 55% said yes, with most asking for more information on the health risks of silica exposure and how to protect themselves.
  • To ensure that workers and contractors have ready access to the latest information, ICE and BAC joined with other contractor associations, unions, and manufacturers in supporting the development of a one-stop website on silica. When the silica-safe.org website was launched in 2012, it had just under 1,000 visits per month on average. Today, that figure has grown to more than 14,000 sessions per month.