With new standards in protecting against exposure to respirable crystalline silica being enforced by OSHA, Shiel Sexton’s Safety Department chose to be ahead of the game. A month prior to the new standards going into effect and seven months before the standards became enforceable, Shiel Sexton Safety began independently testing the air quality on all jobsite tasks that created silica dust. The new standard requires contractors engaging in activities that create silica dust meet a stricter standard of how much dust workers inhale.
Shiel Sexton’s Safety Department monitored all standard tasks performed by our construction crews to understand exactly how silica levels read for our jobsite functions and where that would align with the new standards. Concrete crews had the most exposure with drilling, cutting and coring as their primary tasks. However, a multitude of activities were monitored to provide a full range of data points.
With the addition of dust control attachments and filters including HEPA filters, bags and vacuums, Shiel Sexton is ensuring all employees are meeting or exceeding the new standards. Most of our air quality tests determined that our crews are still below the exposure level enforced by OSHA. The Safety Department continues to monitor to ensure our employees are protected, and training was completed company-wide to ensure all employees understood the new standard and the risks of respirable silica.
Do you know of anyone that needs additional training Silica safety? Members of the Shiel Sexton Safety Department are also OSHA Outreach Trainers and we are happy to work with subcontractors or owners to conduct trainings. We realize we are not only building a safe Shiel Sexton workforce, but also a safety conscious workforce throughout all of our jobsites throughout the US.