U.S. OSHA Issues Hazard Alert Regarding Silica Exposure in Fracking Operations

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (“NIOSH”) have issued a hazard alert to employers engaging in hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” – operations, requiring those employers to take adequate steps to protect workers from silica exposure.

OSHA states that large quantities of silica sand are used during fracking.  OSHA notes that “workers who breathe silica day after day are at greater risk of developing silicosis, a lung disease.  OSHA says that silica can also cause other diseases.

The Hazard Alert states that a combination of engineering controls, work practices, protective equipment and product substitution, where feasible, along with worker training, can protect workers exposed to silica.

The Hazard Alert may be accessed here.

Adrian Miedema

About Adrian Miedema

Adrian is a partner in the Toronto Employment group of Dentons Canada LLP. He advises and represents public- and private-sector employers in employment, health and safety and human rights matters. He appears before employment tribunals and all levels of the Ontario courts on behalf of employers. He also advises employers on strategic and risk management considerations in employment policy and contracts.

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