An article in last month’s Industrial Safety and Hygiene News had some fairly compelling statistics about worker exposure to potentially dangerous airborne silica at hydraulic fracturing operation sites.
Of the 116 samples collected at 11 different U.S. fracking sites:
- 47% showed silica exposures greater than the calculated OSHA PEL.
- 79% showed silica exposures greater than the NIOSH REL of 0.05 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3).
- 9% of all samples showed silica exposures 10 or more times the PEL, with one sample more than 25 times the PEL.
- 31% of all samples showed silica exposures 10 or more times the REL, with one sample more than 100 times the REL.
So, how do you keep workers safe? Do you have a respiratory protection plan in place? Do you have the right safety and personal protection equipment?
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