As we recently reported, OSHA has issued its recommendations for new Silica Dust regulations. But the fight for silica safety is not new. Among the organizations which have taken to informing the public about the dust’s dangers is The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR). They have a new resource, the Work Safely with Silica website.
The organization put on a webinar, hosted by Occupational Health and Safety Magazine, to detail how to use the Silica-Safe.org site. Eileen P. Betit, Director of Special projects for the CPWR, acted as host.
The website provides employers with an archive of information on silica dust exposure and allows employers to create a plan for how they will deal with its dangers. The easy-to-use website provides several useful features that allow affected workers and employers to discuss their experiences as well as information on how to better practices.
One of the most helpful features is the “Training and Other Resources” section which provides workers and employers with manuals, presentations, videos, and handouts pertaining to silica dust safety. The section acts as an archive of solid information and facts about Silica Dust culled from OSHA, universities, and various unions. The information on the site is curated by CPWR from all sources available in the international community.
The “Share your Success and Challenges” tab in the “What’s Working” section of the site allows employers to ask questions about the situations they are facing concerning protecting their workers from silica dust. It also allows employers to share ways they have limited exposure on their job sites.
Perhaps the most important feature of the website, though, is the “Create-a-Plan” section which gives companies looking to tackle their problems the essential resources needed.
Step one allows you to choose which materials your company uses. After selection, a drop down menu appears allowing you to refine your search so that you can filter info by which tasks you will be performing with the material. After entering more information about your company and the tasks it performs, a customized plan for controlling silica dust exposure is created.
Silica dust exposure can be difficult to measure. But Silica-Safe.org aims to help employers better understand what is happening on their jobsites so they can take the responsible action necessary to protect workers.