Model Crystalline Silica Exposure Control Plan

Date First Published on SafetySmart Compliance: July 10th, 2012
Topics: Airborne Contaminants |

Problem

Crystalline silica is a dangerous mineral that can cause lung cancer and silicosis. Although OSHA is expected to publish a final rule for crystalline silica by the end of 2012, the hazard is currently subject to regulation under the hazardous dusts standard. Among other things, employers are required to develop a plan to limit workers’ exposure to crystalline silica below the PEL, or permissible exposure limit.

How the Tool Helps Solve the Problem

Here’s a Model Plan for controlling exposure to crystalline silica that you can adapt for your own workplace.

3 important caveats:

  1. The Model Plan is pretty vanilla and geared off minimal OSHA requirements, including current PELs for crystalline silica.
  2. If OSHA does publish a final crystalline silica rule, it’s expected to implement more restrictive PELs. So you’ll need to revise the Plan if and when the rule is published and before it takes effect; and
  3. Because the Model Plan is so vanilla, it can be used as a framework for limiting workers’ exposure to other airborne contaminants—e.g., medical surveillance, air monitoring and other general measures required to control these hazards—including metals like lead and other minerals like asbestos