OSHA Launches Initiative to Safeguard Workers from Silica Dust

The department is increasing enforcement and compliance support to address severe health risks.

The U.S. Department of Labor recently introduced a new initiative through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to address the health risks faced by workers in the “engineered stone fabrication and installation industries.” This initiative seeks to enhance enforcement and compliance to protect workers from severe illnesses caused by exposure to silica dust.

OSHA, in collaboration with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, identified silica dust exposure as a significant hazard for workers involved in natural and manufactured stone manufacturing, finishing, and installation processes. Inhaling the tiny crystalline silica particles posed the risk of silicosis, a debilitating and sometimes fatal lung disease, as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary and kidney disease.

“Many workers in the engineered stone industry are experiencing illnesses so severe that they’re unable to breathe — much less work a full shift,” explained Assistant Secretary for OSHA Doug Parker. “Among them is a 27-year-old worker in California… whose lung biopsy later revealed he had silicosis… he has been on an oxygen tank and unable to support his wife and three young children financially.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Assistant Secretary Parker to seek God’s direction as he heads OSHA.
  • For Acting Secretary Julie Su as she leads the Labor Department.
  • For employers in the stone manufacturing industry to take precautions to protect workers’ health.

Sources: Department of Labor


Back to top