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OSHA answers FAQs on silica standard for general industry

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Washington — OSHA has published answers to a list of frequently asked questions regarding the agency’s respirable crystalline silica standard for general industry.

The agency developed the FAQs after consulting with industry and union stakeholders, the Department of Labor states in a Jan. 23 press release. The answers to the 64 questions, organized by topic, provide guidance to employers and workers on the standard’s requirements, including exposure assessments, hazard communication and methods of compliance.

OSHA’s silica rule for general industry was published March 25, 2016, and went into effect June 23, 2018. The agency released a set of compliance assistance resources in August 2018.

Crystalline silica is a carcinogen found in sand, stone and artificial stone. It can cause silicosis, a chronic disease that involves scarring of the lungs. OSHA estimates that 2.3 million workers are exposed to silica dust each year.

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