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Contractor Fined Over $80K for Worker Exposure Hazards to Respirable Silica and Other Violations

EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides testing services for crystalline silica, including alpha-quartz, cristobalite, tridymite and amorphous silica.

Chicago, IL – WEBWIRE

In December, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that an Illinois contractor was facing over $80,000 in proposed penalties for two willful, two repeat and three serious safety violations. OSHA reports that the contractor failed to provide employees remodeling a home in Illinois with adequate protection from falls as well as the personal protective equipment (PPE) and training needed to work safely with silica and Portland cement.

Just last year, OSHA issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and kidney disease in workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule is comprised of two standards: one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime. It includes the following key provisions:

  • Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift.

  • Requires employers to use engineering controls to limit worker exposure to the PEL; provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure; limit worker access to high exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan; offer medical exams to highly exposed workers; and train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposure.

“OSHA has taken a significant stance in trying to reduce workers’ exposure to respirable crystalline silica and penalties can be severe for failing to comply with these measures,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “The agency has stated that approximately 2.3 million workers in the U.S. are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in the workplace, so businesses need to take notice. This significant proposed penalty shows that companies must take training, personal protective equipment and monitoring for exposure risks seriously.”

To help companies comply with the new crystalline silica regulations, EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers testing services and sampling supplies. They also offer a comprehensive range of PPE and real-time air monitoring equipment.  EMSL has even sponsored an educational video about silicosis and crystalline silica that can be seen at:

To learn more about crystalline silica testing or other environmental, occupational, health and safety services, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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