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OSHA’s New Rule on Silica Dust

OSHA’s final ruling on respirable silica dust has created new standards for how dust must be managed in the workplace. The ruling was designed to prevent lung cancer, silicosis, pulmonary and kidney disease for workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. This ruling applies to the construction, general industry and maritime fields and is effective as of September 23, 2017.

To obtain more information on the Silica Dust Rule and your responsibilities to be in compliance, check out OSHA’s Small Entity Compliance Guide

Key provisions of the new ruling:

  • 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 (such as water or ventilation) 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 exposures.
  • Provides medical exams to monitor highly exposed workers and gives them information about their lung health.
  • Provides flexibility to help employers – especially small businesses – protect workers from silica exposure.

View OSHA’s “Stop Silicosis” Video

In 1938, the Department of Labor released a film titled “Stop Silicosis”, which discussed how dangerous exposure to silica dust is and the effects silicosis has on the human body. Employees back then did not know how harmful silica exposure can be and some employees still do not know. Watch this informative video to learn more about silica and how silicosis can be prevented

How can SSU help?

Protect your employees with the right safety equipment and PPE that is silica dust compliant.
SSU is your #1 trusted leading supplier! We carry all equipment and accessories that are compliant with OSHA’s new rule.

  • We have all types of vacuum systems and filters needed to safely collect and contain dust.
  • We have access to safety experts and knowledgeable reps that can assist you with questions regarding the right equipment for your site.

View all dust compliant safety equipment


Our sister company provides safety training to ensure your employees are fully aware of the new standard and its requirements.

For silica dust awareness trainings, check out our upcoming courses.

To request a quote or to order supplies, please email us at or contact us at 201-436-4200.