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General Industry and Maritime Businesses in Puerto Rico Prepare for OSHA’s New Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard

Zimmetry Environmental provides testing, monitoring and consulting services to identify and mitigate occupational exposure risks to airborne hazards.


Bayamon, Puerto Rico – WEBWIRE

OSHA believes that today approximately 295,000 workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in over 75,000 general industry and maritime workplaces throughout the entire United States.

Last September, construction companies in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands prepared themselves for the new final rule on Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica. This standard, from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), was put into effect with enforcement actions for companies involved with construction activities.
 
For businesses that fall under the categories of General Industry or Maritime, the requirements are set to commence on June 23rd of this year. The Standard requires that employers in these industries:

  • Measure the amount of silica that workers are exposed to if it may be at or above an action level of 25 μg/m3 (micrograms of silica per cubic meter of air), averaged over an 8-hour day;
  • Protect workers from respirable crystalline silica exposures above the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 μg/m3, averaged over an 8-hour day;
  • Limit workers’ access to areas where they could be exposed above the PEL;
  • Use dust controls to protect workers from silica exposures above the PEL;
  • Provide respirators to workers when dust controls cannot limit exposures to the PEL;
  • Restrict housekeeping practices that expose workers to silica where feasible alternatives are available;
  • Establish and implement a written exposure control plan that identifies tasks that involve exposure and methods used to protect workers;
  • Offer medical exams — including chest X-rays and lung function tests — every three years for workers exposed at or above the action level for 30 or more days per year;
  • Train workers on work operations that result in silica exposure and ways to limit exposure; and
  • Keep records of workers’ silica exposure and medical exams.

 
“This new standard is good news for workers involved with general industry and maritime occupations,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “OSHA believes that today approximately 295,000 workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in over 75,000 general industry and maritime workplaces throughout the entire United States.”
 
Exposure to respirable crystalline silica can cause silicosis, lung cancer, other respiratory diseases and kidney disease. Helping companies and institutions prepare for these new standards are the industrial hygiene professionals at Zimmetry Environmental. They offer occupational exposure testing and monitoring for crystalline silica and a wide range of other services throughout Puerto Rico and the rest of the Caribbean. These services not only protect employees, they also help to keep companies in regulatory compliance to avoid costly noncompliance fines and penalties.
 
Zimmetry Environmental also recently sponsored an educational video about crystalline silica exposures in general industry and maritime operations that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/6bxH_G1kld0
 
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their occupational, industrial hygiene, environmental, air quality, compliance and consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email info@zimmetry.com .
 
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies.  The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America.  The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.


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 Crystalline Silica
 Puerto Rico
 Industrial Hygiene
 Air Testing
 EHS


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