OSHA Seeks to Protect Stone Countertop Workers from Lung Disease

September 25, 2023
by Safety and Health Magazine, National Safety Council

Washington — A new OSHA initiative is aimed at protecting workers in the engineered stone fabrication and installation industries from silica exposure.

Breathing in respirable crystalline silica – which is 100 times smaller than a grain of sand – can lead to medical issues such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and incurable silicosis, defined by NIOSH as “an irreversible but preventable lung disease.” 

The initiative will direct enforcement efforts and compliance assistance to employers who fall under two North American Industry Classification System codes:

  • 327991 – Cut Stone and Stone Product Manufacturing
  • 423320 – Brick, Stone and Related Construction Material Merchant Wholesalers

The initiative, which supplements OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on respirable crystalline silica, “will focus enforcement efforts on industry employers to make sure they’re following required safety standards and providing workers with the protections required to keep them healthy.”

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