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OSHA Targets Crystalline Silica
Posted by Geoff Weisenberger on May 2, 2008 at 12:45 PM.

OSHA has launched a National Emphasis Program (NEP) targeting health hazards associated with occupational exposure to crystalline silica. The new program directs OSHA regional offices to inspect workplaces with elevated exposure levels and to provide “compliance assistance” to employers. Crystalline silica is a carcinogen and can lead to silicosis, a disabling and irreversible lung disease.


The directive lists streel fabrication as one of the industries at risk for exposure. The exposure potential comes from sand blasting steel with silica sand. While not prevalent in the fabrication industry, sand may still be used in some situations. Companies using sand for blast media are encouraged to use the NEP to establish and enforce rigorous procedures to prevent exposure to blast personnel and bystanders. The NEP includes inspection procedure information and an inspector checklist. You can view the diretive at

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