No matter what material you are working with - even something considered to be a
"nuisance dust" - there is a basic Cal/OSHA requirement that employers know if their employees are being overexposed, whether that be by inhalation, skin absorption, or ingestion. Since it is not always easy to know if employees are overexposed, it is safest to assume they are. That means going ahead and implementing the exposure reduction controls described in the How do you Control the Hazard? page.
For activities falling within the scope of section 1530.1, much of what is
covered by this eTool is automatically required of employers to implement unless the employer can reliably demonstrate by air sampling data applicable to the specific operation being performed that employees will not be exposed above Cal/OSHA allowable exposure levels for the various crystalline silica. Refer to Section 1530.1 for details.
In particular, take a look at Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations (T8CCR), Sections:
- 1509: Injury and Illness Prevention Program (construction)
- 1530: General Requirements of Mechanical Ventilation Systems (construction)
- 1530.1: Control of Employee Exposures from Dust-Generating Operations Conducted on Concrete and Masonry Materials
Important Note for Section 1530.1: "This section does not preclude the application of other sections of Title 8 including, but not limited to, Sections 1509, 1530, 3203, 5141, 5143, 5144, 5155, and 5194."
Keep this "Note" in mind when you consider the seven (7) exempted construction activities. Even though these specific activities are exempted by 1530.1, excessive exposures to crystalline silica cannot necessarily be ruled out. You must still evaluate the potential exposures to silica and control as necessary.
- 3203: Injury and Illness Prevention Program (general industry)
- 5141: Control of Harmful Exposure to Employees
- 5143: General Requirements of Mechanical Ventilation Systems
- 5144: Respiratory Protective Equipment
- 5155: Airborne Contaminants
- 5194: Hazard Communication
Depending on what your employees work with, you may also want to take a look at other things besides silica, such as:
- 1529: Asbestos
- 1532: Cadmium
- 1532.1: Lead
- 1532.2: Hexavalent Chrome
- 1535: Methylenedianiline
- 1521: Excessive Noise Exposure - i.e. Ear Protection
Reference California Code of Regulations, Title 8 for other Cal/OSHA requirements not addressed above.