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Silica - It’s Not Just Dust!


by Mary E. Reed, ARM, CSP Argonaut Insurance Company Why Target Crystalline Silica Exposure? Widespread Occurrence and use - Maritime Agriculture Construction General ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Silica - It’s Not Just Dust!

Silica - Its Not Just Dust!
  • by
  • Mary E. Reed, ARM, CSP
  • Argonaut Insurance Company

Why Target Crystalline Silica Exposure?
  • Widespread Occurrence and use -
  • Maritime
  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • General Industry
  • Number of Related Deaths
  • Number of exposed workers
  • Health Effects

Occurrence of Crystalline Silica
  • Silicon Dioxide is basic component of sand,
    quartz, granite
  • Quartz is second most common mineral in earths
  • Airborne silica is produced by, among other
  • Sandblasting
  • Rock Drilling
  • Roof Bolting
  • Foundry Work
  • Stone Cutting
  • Drilling
  • Quarrying
  • Tunneling

Industries with Silica Exposure
  • Electronics
  • Foundries
  • Ceramics, clay pottery, stone, glass
  • Construction
  • Agriculture
  • Maritime
  • Mining
  • Railroad ( setting laying track)
  • Slate flint quarrying flint crushing
  • Use manufacture of abrasives
  • Manufacture of soap detergents

Number of Silica Related Deaths
  • Total US deaths 1968-1990 where silica is
    reported on death certificate 13,744 people
  • Deaths where silicosis is reported as underlying
    cause of death 6,322 people
  • 68 of silica related deaths reported in 12
  • 10 of silica-related deaths reported from
    construction industry

Number of Exposed Workers
  • NIOSH Hazard Alerts estimate
  • More than One Million Workers at Risk
  • More than 1,00,000 sandblasters

Health Effects
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (silicosis)
  • Acute silicosis (1 to 3 years)
  • Accelerated silicosis (3 to 10 years)
  • Chronic silicosis (5 to 25 years)
  • Possible Lung Cancer

Inspection Targeting
  • Wherever possible, inspections will be focused to
    particular establishments where known exposures
    to crystalline have occurred or there are known
    cases of silicosis
  • Process
  • Identify establishments
  • Select sites by use of random number tables
  • Numbers of Inspections determined by regions
  • Sites with effective control programs are exited
    after program review

Examples of Potential Data Sources for Targeting
  • Workers Compensation Data
  • OSHA 200 data
  • SENSOR - NIOSH cooperative agreements with
    state agencies
  • State surveillance data
  • Hospital discharge data
  • OSHA data on industries with historic exposure to
    crystalline silica

Additional Information Sources for Construction
  • Visual observations of relevant processes
  • Dodge reports
  • University of Tennessee construction activity

Elements of an effective, On-going Control
Program for Crystalline Silica
  • Personal Monitoring
  • Medical Surveillance
  • Training
  • Availability of monitoring/Surveillance data to
  • Respiratory Protection Program
  • Hygiene facilities clothing change areas

Elements of Control Program (continued)
  • Recordkeeping
  • Exposures below PEL or a current program with
    interim protection
  • Housekeeping
  • In construction A Safety Health Program
  • Regulated areas to limit exposures

The Hawks Nest Incident - Americas Worst
Industrial Disaster by Martin Cherniack, MD
  • The Hawks Nest Tunnel - Union Carbide New
    Kanawha Power Corp.
  • Rinehart Dennis, Charlottesville, VA.
  • Gauley Bridge, West Virginia
  • Drilling a tunnel for power production
  • Close to 1000 workers lost their lives because of
    acute silicosis