Washington Company Fined for Failure to Protect Workers from Exposure to Silica
EMSL Analytical provides testing services for crystalline silica, including alpha-quartz, cristobalite, tridymite and amorphous silica.
Seattle, WA, March 18th, 2016
Recently, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries cited a Vancouver company for failing to protect workers from exposure to silica dust and other health hazards associated with stone slab grinding. The citation included multiple violations and totaled over $250,000.
Violations included failing to use feasible controls to reduce employee exposure to silica dust, not developing a written respiratory protection program to protect employees from inhaling silica dust, failing to provide fit testing for workers required to wear full-face respirators, and other serious occupational issues.
Occupational exposure to crystalline silica can occur during workplace operations that involve cutting, sawing, drilling and crushing of concrete, brick, block, rock and stone products. Processes historically associated with high rates of silicosis include sandblasting, sand-casting foundry operations, mining, tunneling, cement cutting and demolition, masonry work and granite cutting. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), silica exposure remains a serious threat to nearly 2 million U.S. workers, including more than 100,000 workers in high risk jobs.
“Silicosis is the name of the disease that impacts the lungs due to breathing dust containing crystalline silica particles,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Crystalline silica has been classified as a human lung carcinogen. Since there is no cure for this disease, prevention is the only answer. At EMSL, we help companies comply with regulations and support their efforts to protect workers from exposure through testing services for crystalline silica and other potentially hazardous materials.”
EMSL provides air and bulk sample analyses using NIOSH Method 7500, NIOSH Method 7501 and OSHA Method ID-142. They also recently sponsored an educational video about silicosis and crystalline silica that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/gLfsdhB2bz8.
To learn more about crystalline silica testing services or other environmental, occupational, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.