Who Needs to be Trained and What Should You Cover? Hazards of Silica in Construction

It's important all people...

  • Employees
  • Competent persons
  • Foremen, superintendents, and
  • Project managers and those involved in the proposal and planning phases of construction that may involve silica-containing materials.


  • What the health hazards are
  • When and where silica-containing materials pose a concern, and
  • How to eliminate, or at least control the exposure hazard.

Reference Sections 1530.1 and 1532.3 for details on what personnel need to be trainined on given their job assignments.


Make sure they clearly understand the:

Health Hazards, including

  • Cancer
  • Lung effects
  • Immune system effects
  • Kidney effects

Exposure Controls, including

  • Methods used by the employer to control employee' exposures to airborne dust, such as
    • Wet cutting
    • Local exhaust ventilation systems
    • Isolation of the process from the operator and surrounding employees by means of distance, enclosure or other method, as applicable
    • Work practices
  • Proper use and maintenance of dust reduction systems, including the safe handling and disposal of collected waste materials
  • The importance of good personal hygiene and housekeeping practices when working with or around dust containing crystalline silica, including:
    • Ensuring that hands, arms, face, and any exposed parts of the body are thoroughly washed before eating, or leaving the worksite.
    • Not smoking tobacco products.
    • Using appropriate methods to clean employees' own clothes
    • Making sure that protective clothing worn to prevent employees' own clothes from getting contaminated is safely discarded (before leaving the worksite) in a manner that does not spread contamination.

Foremen, Superintendents and Project Managers

In addition to what employees are trained on, supervision and management needs to also be able to:

  • Identify tasks employees will perform that may result in employee exposure to silica containing dust, and
  • Determine procedures for implementation of the measures used by the employer to reduce the exposure to concrete or masonry dust

Competent Persons

In addition to all of the above, they also need to be capable of identirying existing and foreseeable respirable crystalline silica hazards in the workplace and have the authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate or minimize them. The competent person must have the knowledge and ability necessary to fulfill the responsibilities set forth in worksite silica exposure control plan as required by subsection (g) of Section 1532.3.

NOTE: For activities falling within the scope of Section 1530.1, all of the above must be addressed with employees and supervision on at least an annual basis.

Additional Tools and Information

June 2019