H.J. Martin and Son prepared for new silica rules from OSHA
Green Bay, Wis. – In an effort to protect the health and wellbeing of employees and others working on job sites, H.J. Martin and Son has taken the appropriate steps to meet forthcoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards concerning crystalline silica.
Crystalline silica is used on construction sites across the United States, where well over two million construction workers can be exposed to it. Many construction tasks like using masonry saws, grinders, drills or doing demolition tasks among others can lead to exposure.
The risks of crystalline silica exposure may include a range of medical issues including silicosis, lung cancer, kidney disease and other diseases.
OSHA is issuing two new standards, one in construction and one in general industry/maritime, to protect workers. The standards were formed around a new permissible exposure limit (PEL).
Construction-related businesses will need to meet new requirements to better protect their employees by September 23, 2017.
H.J. Martin and Son employees working within the concrete polishing team, and workers around them, were directly impacted by the new OSHA standards. The company has put forth measures months in advance to meet the new requirements, including training employees on the risks of crystalline silica, conducting air sampling to ensure the employees are below the OSHA PEL.
All grinding and polishing machines are equipped with HEPPA vacuums, keeping the company in compliance with the new silica standards. Training of the proper use of respiratory protection equipment has been provided for the crew members performing concrete polishing work.
Other measures, including a Silica Exposure Control Plan and job site signage, have been prepared for the implementation of the new OSHA standards. Other specific details will be worked out with general contractors to ensure the safety of all workers in terms of crystalline silica exposure in the near future.