The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed a Respirable Crystalline Silica health standard that has new provisions in it. These provisions were made to help reduce the risk of silica exposure to American workers. OSHA’s new requirements include: lowering the allowable Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL)/Action Level (AL) for respirable crystalline silica, establishment of engineering and workplace controls including regulated areas when deemed necessary, personal protective equipment/respiratory protection and medical surveillance to be conducted to highly exposed workers.
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is committed to ensuring the safety of our employees in the workplace. Our commitment includes the promotion of safe work practices, safety education and training, as well as establishing a safe work environment. Due to this, RIT has developed a Respirable Crystalline Silica program to ensure worker safety while working with respirable crystalline silica products.
Program Management Requirements
RIT has developed a written Respirable Crystalline Silica plan. This plan includes the following topics:
- Hazard assessment of RIT operations that use respirable crystalline silica;
- Exposure monitoring; and
- Respirator protection and medical surveillance programs for exposures above the Action Level, when applicable.
RIT EH&S shall provide general training so that all affected employees who work with respirable crystalline silica products have the understanding and knowledge necessary for the safe performance of their duties.
Training will include:
- Health hazards associated with exposure to respirable crystalline silica;
- RIT specific tasks and implemented measures to control exposure to respirable crystalline silica;
- Purpose and a description of the associated medical surveillance program; and
- Awareness of the OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica standard 29 CFR 1910.1053.
Contact the RIT Environmental Health and Safety Department with any questions at (585) 475-6270.