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Silica dust hazards: New Spanish-language training from Oregon OSHA

Silica Safety
Photo: State of Oregon

Salem, OR — Oregon OSHA has launched a free online training course on silica hazards for Spanish-speaking workers.

Workers can breathe in silica dust while cutting, sawing, drilling or crushing materials such as concrete, brick, ceramic tiles, rock and stone. Crystalline silica can damage tissue in the lungs and lead to lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or incurable silicosis. OSHA estimates that 2.3 million workers are exposed to silica dust every year.

Intended to boost employers’ ability to meet the requirements of Oregon OSHA’s silica rules, the course features personal stories, instructional videos and links to resources. Topics covered include forms of silica, where it’s found and job activities that cause respirable silica dust. The agency, which operates as a State Plan, describes protective steps workers should take when they use power tools.


“The Spanish silica safety course reflects Oregon OSHA’s ongoing commitment to broaden our educational offerings to reach a variety of audiences, and to help employers and workers address a full range of potential on-the-job hazards,” Oregon OSHA interim administrator Lou Savage said in a press release. “Indeed, this course is not only about the important work of making workplaces safer from silica hazards. It is also about removing language barriers.”

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