Michigan OSHA (MIOSHA) will conduct inspections at job sites where workers are most likely to be exposed to respirable crystalline silica as part of the agency’s recently launched emphasis program aimed at reducing exposure to silica and preventing silicosis, reports Safety+Health magazine, the National Safety Council publication.
MIOSHA’s 12-month emphasis program includes outreach to affected industries to consult, educate, and train employers and the public about the dangers of silica.
MIOSHA has compiled a list of industries with historically high silica exposures and a prevalence of silicosis cases. Establishments on the list could receive an unannounced investigation visit to ensure compliance with federal and MIOSHA standards.
The agency is offering consultative audits, Safety+Health says, to help establishments identify silica hazards.
Federal OSHA notes that 2.3 million workers nationwide are exposed to silica. When inhaled, these tiny particles–the product of cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling, and crushing stone, rock, concrete, brick, blocks, and mortar–increase the risk of serious silica-related diseases such as silicosis.