SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – Oregon OSHA has launched a free online training course to help employers put in place protective measures for workers against the potential hazards of inhaling airborne crystalline silica dust in the air.
Any worker exposed to dust containing crystalline silica – crushed rock, soil, dirt, gravel or sand, for example – should be concerned about silicosis, a lung disease caused by inhalation of dust containing crystalline silica particles – particles so tiny you can only see them with a microscope.
With powerful visuals, personal stories, instructional videos, links to resources, and a certificate of completion, the training course is designed to build employers’ ability to meet the requirements of Oregon OSHA Silica Rules. . It offers a tool for employers and workers to strengthen their existing training programs.
“Employers and workers need robust training resources to help light the way to health and safety improvements in their workplaces,” said Julie Love, Oregon OSHA Acting Administrator. “And it’s in the spirit of continuous improvement that we’ve designed and built this free, flexible training to address silica dust hazards.”
Common sources of exposure to silica dust include cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing concrete, brick, ceramic tile, rock, and stone products. When inhaled, silica particles are trapped in the lungs and damage tissue. The lung tissue heals and forms small rounded masses called nodules. Over time, the nodules grow, making it increasingly difficult to breathe.
The training course covers a variety of topics. They include the different forms of silica and where it can be found; work activities involving construction materials that may cause silica dust to be airborne and respirable; the Oregon OSHA Silica Standard and its provisions to protect workers; and instructional videos showing protective measures workers can follow when using power tools.
The course is now available. A Spanish version of the course is under development.
For more information on Oregon OSHA’s silica rules, visit the A to Z topic page, which includes guides, fact sheets, and checklists. For help improving workplace health and safety programs — including addressing silica dust hazards — contact Oregon OSHA’s consultation services, which are free and involve no fault, no citations and no penalties.
For help understanding Oregon OSHA occupational health and safety requirements, contact our experts. For more learning opportunities, visit our education and training resources and view our A-Z subject index.
Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces state occupational safety and health rules and strives to improve workplace safety and health for all workers in Oregon. For more information, go to osha.oregon.gov.
The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.oregon.gov/dcbs/.