Silica Enforcement: OSHA Rules Arrive for General Industry, Maritime

As of June 23, 2018, OSHA’s silica enforcement has arrived for general industry and maritime workplaces.

The new standard creates an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) permissible exposure limit of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, as well as an action level of 25 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Other rules include keeping silica-related records and offering medical surveillance to employees.

In the first 30 days of enforcement, OSHA will help employees that are “making good faith efforts” to comply with the new silica standard. Any silica citations issued during this 30-day period will be reviewed by the National Office before the citations are issued.

For more insight into how OSHA will enforce the silica standard during this interim period, read the administration’s silica enforcement guidance memo that was sent to all OSHA Regional Administrators.

The updated silica final rule was originally published back on March 25, 2016, creating two new standards: one for construction and one for general industry/maritime. Most of the construction standard became enforceable on September 23, 2017.

Dangers of Silica

Silica is a common mineral found on Earth, but when it becomes small enough to enter our lungs, it becomes a major health risk for humans.

Many common work activities — including cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling and crushing stone, rock concrete, brick and mortar — create respirable crystalline silica, which are particles that are at least 100 times smaller than ordinary sand. About 2.3 million workers are exposed to silica dust in the U.S. 

Workers who inhale silica are at an increased risk of potentially fatal diseases such as:

  • Silicosis, an incurable lung disease that can lead to disability and death
  • Lung cancer
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Kidney disease

SCT is your Silica Solution

The workplace safety experts at SCT can solve all of your silica hazards and help you reach OSHA compliance. We offer both a 2-hour awareness and 8-hour competent person training course. SCT is your One Stop Shop for all things silica. We can train your employees, create a customized written safety plan, deliver high-quality personal protective equipment, and everything in between.

Call us today at 1-800-204-1729 or complete the contact form below.





Study finds link between noise exposure and high blood pressure, cholesterol

A recent study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that workers subject to excessive noise exposure  have an increased risk for high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

According to Safety and Health Magazine, researchers at NIOSH reviewed data from more than 20,000 workers using the 2014 National Health Interview Survey and found a link between noise exposure at work and elevated levels of hypertension and cholesterol.

In the study, 25 percent of workers had a history of noise exposure on the job. Loud noise impacts about 22 million workers in the United States. Furthermore, the study found that occupational noise contributed to 58 percent of hearing damage cases, 14 percent of hypertension cases, and nine percent of elevated cholesterol cases.

Additionally, jobs that most often had occupational noise exposure were production at 55 percent, construction and extraction at 54 percent, and installation, maintenance and repair at 54 percent.

“If noise could be reduced to safer levels in the workplace, more than 5 million cases of hearing difficulty among noise-exposed workers could potentially be prevented,” said study co-author Liz Masterson, Ph.D.

Below, view our quick and informative video to learn some ways to easily protect the hearing of everyone in your workplace.

And while you’re here, be sure to visit SCT Supply. At our safety supply store, you can find thousands of products from dozens of the top brands in the safety industry, including various types of hearing protection equipment.

Kick off the Holidays with the 12 Days of PPE

Here at SCT, the safety experts are getting in the holiday spirit with a safety-focused rendition of the classic song “12 Days of Christmas.”

While we may not win any awards for our singing talent, we nonetheless hope you enjoy our “12 Days of PPE” video below and use it as an entertaining reminder to always follow proper workplace safety procedures, including wearing the right PPE for the job.

Be sure to check out for all of your safety gear needs. Use code HOLIDAY2017 for 10% off your order of $100 or more.

The Importance of PPE in Construction

This week’s Construction Connection video features Bo Wyszynski, Manager of SCT Supply. Construction workers always need to have the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job to ensure they make it home safely at the end of the work day.

Watch the video to learn more about the importance of PPE and then check out a selection of related products from SCT Supply. Be sure to visit to view our complete inventory of products for all your occupational safety and health needs.