OSHA released a compliance guide meant to help small construction firms comply with the agency's final rule on exposure to crystalline silica in the workplace. Resources for small business highlighted in the guide include specified exposure control methods, respiratory protection, housekeeping and a written exposure control plan.
In March, OSHA issued a final rule lowering the permissible exposure limit to 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air during an eight-hour period for all industries.
According to the document, crystalline silica is a mineral found in sand, concrete, brick, stone, mortar and other common items used at construction sites. Work that includes cutting, drilling or crushing rock may create small particles of respirable crystalline silica that are 100 times smaller than sand,