The Answer My Friend, is in the new OSHA Standards of Safety.
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Previously in this What is Silica? blog series, we identified occupational silicosis as a pulmonary disease that strikes workers who inhale silica dust on work sites. Starting in the lungs, silicosis may advance to other parts of the body causing an entire range of debilitating symptoms. Workers on industrial construction sites are at most risk since they regularly breathe in tiny specks of silica dust during the course of the 8 hour work day.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the regulatory agency for The United States Department of Labor tasked with establishing safety guidelines to improve work conditions. As of June 23, 2018, compliance with every adaptive requirement of the Respirable Crystalline Safety Standard will be mandatory for all employers.
OSHA conducted a lengthy investigation discerning the various labor related causes and harmful effects of silica dust, also known as respirable crystalline, on the health of construction workers. Admitting that it is impossible to produce a completely dust free worksite, OSHA mandates adaptive methods to control it. For example, it is now required that a fully enclosed vacuuming system, a “shop-vac” be utilized during grinding, see below:
The Good News- OSHA has set new Standards of Safety Guidelines to protect the health of workers. As of June 23, 2018, compliance with every aspect of the Respirable Crystalline Construction Safety Standard will officially be mandatory for all employers. Non- compliance will result in fines. This is very good news for the next generation of workers.
The Bad News- Long overdue, OSHA safety standards have come way too late to protect the health of those who have already been over exposed to silica dust and now as a result are now inflicted with occupational silicosis.
The Other Good News- Having OSHA acknowledge the link between silica dust exposure in the workplace and silicosis, has forced them to also acknowledge that a worker’s case of silicosis is both an occupational and a preventable disease.
Just GOOD NEWS from here on in- Workers who have been exposed to silica dust and are experiencing signs of silicosis are entitled to Workers’ Compensation. Now more than ever it is important to choose the right Law Firm that will bring your case forward with the best results possible.
Have you been exposed to silica dust in your workplace? Are you experiencing symptoms commonly associated with silicosis? If you answered yes to both questions, seek medical attention. You may have a Workers’ Compensation Case. Please allow us to assist you. Call us today. Toll Free: 855.965.1515