• OSHA Proposes New Rule on Crystalline Silica
  • Karen

    Karen D. Hamel, CSP, WACH, is a regulatory compliance professional, trainer and technical writer for New Pig. She has more than 22 years of experience helping EHS professionals find solutions to meet EPA, OSHA and DOT regulations and has had more than 100 articles published on a variety of EHS topics. Karen is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Walkway Auditor Certificate Holder (WACH), Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainer and hazmat technician. She also serves on the Blair County, Pa., LEPC and has completed a variety of environmental, safety, emergency response, DOT and NIMS courses, including Planning Section Chief. She has conducted seminars at national conferences and webinars for ASSE and other national organizations. She can be reached at 1-800-HOT-HOGS (468-4647) or by email karenea@newpig.com.

  • Terry Butlersays:
    04/06/2016 at 3:55 pm Reply

    Hi Karen,

    I know your article on the new Rule’s proposal for respirable Crystalline silica, is now history however only found it by accident yesterday, and just wanted to mention to you I enjoyed the content and the format. Really nice work and it was spot on with the expected outcome.

    Too bad it has taken forever to tighten the silica issue up, not just here in the US either.
    I just can’t help but feel a little miffed that OSHA missed a milestone opportunity not to have raised the alert on some of the frequently used clay based products out in the market place.
    Sure these products may not be on the radar as far as the 8 hour shift exposure levels are concerned but the products will probably still get used anyway. Needless to say, with a strong possibility, the user doesn’t read the fine print on the label, warning the product is a carcinogen and recommendations that appropriate respiratory protective masks must be worn.

    However for company owners, sadly there is still no onus on them to seek out non carcinogenic alternatives ( not that I could find anyway) that can be far more efficient and cost effective, without exposing their own employees to the danger of the dust accumulating in their bodies. I refer in this instance to clay based spill absorbents.

    If I sound overly pedantic about the long term effects of silica dust it is only from many years in the hard rock mining industry. There, and in may parts of the world , I have seen first hand the cruel consequences of supervisors and operators who for too long disregarded the importance of dust control and personal protective equipment.

    All the best

    Terry Butler
    Market research Analyst

    • Karensays:
      04/08/2016 at 9:54 am Reply

      Hi Terry,

      Thank you for your insight on this topic. At New Pig, we have always shared your concern about workers being exposed to crystalline silica while using clay-based absorbents. This is why we offer silica free absorbents in the form of mats and loose. Our goal in this space is to continue to educate workers about the risks of exposure to crystalline silica-laden products while offering an alternative and safer solution for their absorbent needs.


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