Breathing silica dust can cause a variety of serious respiratory ailments. Protect your workers and learn how to comply with OSHA’s new standard on worksite silica exposure with SMACNA’s new Silica Exposure Prevention Model Program—free to members only.

The new rule, which OSHA issued in March, is written as two standards, one for construction and one for general industry and maritime workplaces.

For the construction industry and affected SMACNA contractors, potential silica exposure can be found in tasks that include drilling, cutting, and grinding silica-containing materials such as concrete and stone.

For SMACNA contractors, a typical task affected by this new rule would be setting duct or pipe hangers into concrete ceilings. Most employers can limit exposureosha to silica dust by using work practices and equipment that are readily available today, such as wet methods and vacuum dust collection systems.

SMACNA’s Silica Exposure Prevention Model Program includes roles and responsibilities, exposure control methods, engineering and work practice controls, a fact sheet with major provisions, and a summary of OSHA respiratory compliance requirements.

SMACNA members can download a free copy on the Safety Model Programs section of  SMACNA’s Safety webpage.

The full requirements of the OSHA rule for the construction industry become effective June 23, 2017. Visit the OSHA silica website to learn details on the new standards.

Take advantage of SMACNA’s Safety and Health Policies, Procedures, and Model Programs, which provide this free silica program and more free safety and health programs. You can also customize these model programs to meet your unique needs.

For more information, contact Mike McCullion, SMACNA’s director of market sectors and safety ( / (703) 995-4027).