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E – 1163 Silica Exposure in Sandblasting, Construction and Other Occupations

Intended Audience: civil, construction, industrial, and mechanical engineers



    Silicosis is a disabling, nonreversible and sometimes fatal lung disease caused by breathing in crystalline silica. Silicosis accounts for about 200 deaths in the U.S. every year. In the construction industry, the most severe exposures to crystalline silica result from sandblasting. Other activities that may produce crystalline silica dust include jack hammering; rock/well drilling; concrete mixing and drilling; brick and concrete block cutting; tunneling operations; cement and asphalt pavement manufacturing; setting, laying and repair of railroad track; and foundry operations. The present course is based on a modified version of OSHA training material related to protecting personnel exposed to crystalline silica in the workplace. The course consists of 74 slides with accompanying commentary, providing a concise, graphically illustrated, and easily digestible introduction to the subject.

    This course is based on the document, “Silica Exposure in Sandblasting, Construction and Other Occupations” by Mark P. Rossow.

    Learning Objectives

    At the successful conclusion of this course, you’ll be able to identify and discuss:

    • Various forms of silica (dangerous and not dangerous);
    • Silicosis and other lung diseases related to silica;
    • Effect of particle size;
    • Types of industrial processes that produce silica dust;
    • Devices and procedures for limiting and monitoring exposure;
    • Calculation of exposure limits;
    • Recommended worker training; and
    • Respiratory protection.

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