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Communication and training
  • Training must be done initially and repeated as often as necessary for all workers exposed to silica in the workplace.

Employees must be trained at the time they are assigned to a position involving exposure to respirable crystalline silica.

Additional training must be provided as often as necessary to make sure that employees know and understand respirable crystalline silica hazards and the protections available in their workplace. Examples of when additional training would be required include:

  • When the employer asks an employee to perform a task that is new to that employee;
  • When the employer introduces new protections (for example, an employer who was having workers use a handheld grinder with wet method controls decides to have workers use a handheld grinder with a dust collection system); or
  • When an employee is working in a manner that suggests that the training has been forgotten.

Employers need to include respirable crystalline silica in the Hazard Communication Program established. At a minimum, the following hazards should be addressed: cancer, lung effects, immune system effects, and kidney effects. Each employee must have access to labels on containers of crystalline silica and safety data sheets, and be trained in accordance with the provisions of HCS and the information below.

Each employee must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of at least the following:

  • The health hazards associated with exposure to respirable crystalline silica;
  • Specific tasks in the workplace that could result in exposure to respirable crystalline silica;
  • Specific measures the employer has implemented to protect employees from exposure to respirable crystalline silica, including engineering controls, work practices, and respirators to be used;
  • All the contents of 1926.1153;
  • The identity of the competent person designated by the employer; and
  • The purpose and a description of the medical surveillance program.