Is Your Flooring Specialist Complying with the New Respirable Crystalline Silica Standards?

Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) started to enforce new Respirable Crystalline Silica Standards, regulations for construction, general industry and maritime businesses to reduce hazardous airborne dust and crystalline silica at job sites. In addition to updating Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs), contractors and high-performance flooring specialists like Surface Solutions are now outfitting tools and machines with dust containment equipment such as vacuums with HEPA-filters, air scrubbers and point-of-origin accessories to control contaminants.

“The impact of this regulation, creating a safer and healthier workplace, is vitally important for our employees, our customers and our industry,” Amy Manghelli, President of Surface Solutions, Inc., says. “The time to have a compliant dust collection system in-use is now.”

According to OSHA, an estimated 2.3 million workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in their workplaces, including construction workers and flooring installers who drill, cut, crush or grind silica-containing materials such as concrete and stone; barrel mix materials and conduct functions such as shot blasting, hand grinding, scarifying, edging, sweeping, broom sweeping and clean-up work.

Surface Solutions and other compliant companies are decreasing the risk of their employees and others from developing silicosis, lung cancer, COPD and kidney disease, because the new OSHA regulations (Section 29 CFR 1926.1153):

  • Control airborne dust that is harmful to breathe
  • Reduce labor on dust clean-up as it settles
  • Protect workers at the job site
  • Increase safety of employees and customers if the building is open during construction work

Protection from Concrete Dust

Crystalline silica is a basic component of soil, sand, granite and many other minerals. Quartz is the most common form of crystalline silica, as well as Cristobalite and tridymite. All three may become respirable-sized particles when workers chip, cut, drill or grind objects that contain crystalline silica. Crystalline silica has been classified as a human lung carcinogen and silica exposure remains a serious threat to workers in the U.S. with high risk jobs such as abrasive blasting, foundry work, concrete, rock and stone cutting, coring and drilling, quarry work and tunneling. Exposure can increase the risk of developing silicosis, lung cancer, tuberculosis and other debilitating diseases. The respirable silica dust enters the lungs and causes the formation of scar tissue, thus reducing the lungs’ ability to take in oxygen. Public health experts estimate that 280 workers die each year from silicosis – and thousands more develop silicosis as a result of workplace exposures. There is no cure for silicosis.


Recognized as a top UCRETE® Master Contractor since 2012, Surface Solutions is an independent industrial floor contractor specializing in seamless, polymer flooring systems utilizing the most trusted brands in the industry. As a Flowcrete STAR Contractor, Surface Solutions is a leading provider of industrial flooring solutions for the Food & Beverage industry. From testing to consultation and complete installation services, Surface Solutions is your premier source of non-toxic, safe and environmentally friendly flooring systems, offering turnkey installations using only in-house personnel. All installations come with a complete single source warranty. To learn more about how Surface Solutions can help provide the highest quality industrial flooring solutions for your business, contact us today!