What can employers/employees do to protect against exposures to crystalline silica?
- Provide engineering or administrative controls, where feasible, such as local exhaust ventilation, and blasting cabinets.
- Use all available work practices to control dust exposures, such as water sprays.
- Wear only a N95 NIOSH-certified respirator, if respirator protection is required.
- Wear disposable or washable work clothes and shower if facilities are available. Vacuum the dust from your clothes and change into clean clothing before leaving the work site.
- Participate in training, exposure monitoring, and health screening and surveillance programs to monitor any adverse health effects caused by crystalline silica exposures.
- Be aware of the operations and the job tasks creating crystalline silica exposures in your workplace environment and know how to protect yourself.
- Be aware of the health hazards related to exposures to crystalline silica. Smoking adds to the lung damage caused by silica exposures.
- Do not eat, drink, smoke, or apply cosmetics in areas where crystalline silica dust is present. Wash your hands and face outside of dusty areas before performing any of these activities.