Solving the Construction Ergonomics Paradox by I3HyZqJH


									Silica- Clearing the Air

Scott Schneider, MS, CIH
Director of Occupational Safety
and Health
Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund
of North America
Silica is not a new problem
  In 1700, Bernardino
  Ramazinni published a book
  on occupational diseases and
  recognized respiratory
  diseases among stone
  In 1910, Alice Hamilton
  studied silica exposures
  among granite workers in
  In 1938, Congress was
  outraged when over 400
  workers died of acute
  silicosis at the Gauley Bridge
  tunnel job in West Virginia
Francis Perkins 1938
                  Francis Perkins, Secretary of Labor,
Acting to “Stop
                  in 1938 convened a National
Silicosis”        Conference to Stop Silicosis
                  In 1974, NIOSH recommends
                  dramatic reductions in the silica
                  exposure limit to 50
                  micrograms/cubic meter and a
                  comprehensive standard
                  Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor, in
                  1997, began a campaign with NIOSH
                  “It’s Not Just Dust” and holds a
                  National Conference to Eliminate
                  In 2006, ACGIH recommends an
                  even lower exposure limit, 25
                  micrograms/cubic meter
History of OSHA efforts
  1974- OSHA publishes an “Advanced Notice of Proposed
  Rulemaking” on whether it should adopt the NIOSH
  recommended standard for silica (with 0.05 mg/m3 REL)
  1989- PEL Update- OSHA modernizes the PEL for Silica to
  mg/m3 but this rulemaking is thrown out by the courts
  1997- OSHA places silica standard on reg agenda as long term
  1999- OSHA expects to propose a new silica standard by June
  2000. Current PEL measurement method is labeled “obsolete”
  2003- OSHA completes Small Business panel review
  2010- OSHA completes Peer Review of Health Effects data
  June 2011- OSHA expects to publish Proposed Silica Standard
                 Reported deaths from silicosis have dropped
Health Effects   to about 150 a year
                 But many cases go unreported:
of Silica            A study of NJ construction workers who died
                      of “lung disease” found 8.5% had unreported
                     A Michigan study estimated about 3,600-
                      7,300 new cases of silicosis each year in the
                 We have known for about 30 years that silica
                 exposure also causes cancer
                     In 1997 IARC designated silica as a human
                     Lung cancer from silica exposures probably
                      outnumber silicosis cases
                 Silica causes other forms of respiratory
                 disease as well
                 Awareness of the hazard is low because
                 construction tends to be dusty and effects
                 are chronic
Worksafe BC Video
Exposures and Controls
  Silica exposures from construction operations can be
  very high, e.g. from tuck pointing and abrasive
  But exposures can be easily and inexpensively
  controlled using water or local exhaust
  Many studies have been published in the past 10
  years showing 90- 98% exposure reduction
  More tools are now coming equipped with controls
  Some States (NJ, CA) have banned dry cutting and
  have not experienced any compliance problems
Dry Cutting is Risky Business
OSHA Publication on Controlling
Silica in Construction - 2009
NIOSH Information products

                    Spanish versions
NIOSH engineering control
page with control videos

Without dust controls

Dust suppression
with water
Dust Control
Simple Solutions
book from
Arbouw in The
Netherlands 2002
• Includes
   criteria for
   with controls
Dust Controls can help with
productivity as well
The OSHA Proposal
  The draft reviewed by SBREFA in 2003
  contained the following elements:
     Lowered PEL- 3 choices
     Modernize measurement method from mppcf to
     Table 1 specifies controls for high exposure tasks
     These elements have been designed specifically to
      make it easy for small businesses so they don’t
      have to do a lot of expensive air monitoring
Table 1- Required Controls
It’s About Time
  Silica has long been a health problem in
  The Government has been trying to regulate
  it for almost 30 years
  There are easy and inexpensive controls
  It’s finally time to get to work and protect
  workers from this serious hazard

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