The Department of Labor’s inspector general is starting a review of OSHA’s enforcement of rules limiting workers’ exposure to toxic silica dust.
Silica is a common mineral found in sand, clay, and stone. Silica can become a health hazard when ground down into fine particles that if inhaled sometimes result in a fatal lung disease, silicosis.
Manufacturers where silica exposure is a common hazard include metal foundries, brick and concrete block factories, and stone-cutting operations. Among construction tasks with a high potential for producing silica is demolition, drilling or sawing into concrete, and road paving.
In his Feb. 14 letter ...