Safety Saturday

Hazards of Silica Dust

Silica dust is a very common mineral found in work and non-work environments, but with excessive exposure over time, it can cause long-term health problems. Today’s Safety Saturday moment focuses on how to stay protected against silica dust.

Crystalline silica is a common mineral found in many types of rock, so workers on construction sites are exposed frequently. When silica dust is inhaled, the lung tissue develops fibrous tissue around the silica particles, which causes a disease called silicosis. It’s important to keep awareness and education high in construction so that we can prevent this disease. Recognize when silica dust may be generated ahead of time, avoid sweeping dry material and instead use tools with an integrated dust collection or water delivery system. If dust levels are high, a properly-fitting respirator must be worn. 

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