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Respirable Crystalline Silica - Nol-Tec Offers Compliance Solution

By Nol Tec Systems |

Early in 2016, OSHA (the Occupational Health and Safety Administration) announced its “final rule” regarding respirable crystalline silica. This rule has been under consideration since 2013. The final ruling reduces the permissible exposure limit (or PEL) for workers in businesses where workers are frequently exposed to respirable crystalline silica.

A Decades-Late Update

Crystalline silica is a common mineral. It is the foundation of such materials as rock and stone, sand, concrete, brick, and mortar. Workplace operations that involve the cutting, drilling, crushing, and handling of these materials commonly expose workers to crystalline silica. And it involves many industries - construction, glass manufacturing, sand blasting, concrete production, and other industrial processes. There are other, less obvious applications, such as dental laboratories and jewelry production.

OSHA does admit that the dangers of respirable crystalline silica have been well known for more than 80 years. In their official overview of the final rule, the organization states that “Workers who inhale very small crystalline silica particles are at increased risk of developing serious—and often deadly—silica-related diseases” including silicosis (an incurable and sometimes fatal lung disease), lung cancer, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and kidney disease. OSHA notes that approximately 2.3 million Americans are exposed to silica at work each year.

OSHA has not updated its current PELs for the substance since the 1960s. Evidence gathered during the intervening decades shows that the current exposure limits do not adequately protect worker health. “[Since] the current exposure limits were adopted,” OSHA’s overview states, “respirable crystalline silica exposure has been found to cause lung cancer and kidney disease at the levels currently permitted.” The new standards are expected to save more than 600 lives and prevent over 900 cases of silicosis annually, once they have been fully implemented.

Nol-Tec Has the Compliance Solution You Need

OSHA’s new ruling dictates that employers whose employees are exposed to respirable crystalline silica are required to, among other measures, implement controls and work practices to limit employee exposure to silica dust.

The best and most effective solution for limiting exposure to harmful dust is to limit the creation of that dust. Nol-Tec Systems offers complete, high efficiency, customizable material handling solutions that will minimize breakage of your materials and significantly reduce dust.

To further limit workers’ exposure to dust, our dense and dilute phase pneumatic conveying systems are fully enclosed to prevent dust from escaping into your facility’s atmosphere.

We will conduct on-site evaluations of your processes, as needed, and conduct small-scale trials in our testing lab—using the actual materials you work with—to create a particulate control solution that provides efficient and effective protection against respirable crystalline silica exposure.

Employers one to five years to get their safety solutions in place under OSHA's new ruling, depending on the size of the company and their specific processes. Five years may seem like a long time, but, as there are thousands of employers across the country that will be working to meet the new standards, solutions providers will be booked up fast, and likely far into the future.

You don’t want to be stuck on a waiting list when the time for your inspection rolls around—contact Nol-Tec today to get started on the respirable crystalline silica solution you and your employees need.
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