Silica: a prevalent hazard on road construction sites

With the construction season in full swing there are numerous projects around the city and throughout the province that have silica as a hazard to workers. Silica has been a key issue lately with Workplace Safety and Health undertaking various studies to demonstrate its effects on workers, as well as a lack of supply in N95 respirators due to demand from the COVID-19 outbreak.

The long-term effects of silica exposure can lead to the development of silicosis, lung cancer and other chronic lung and breathing issues. To protect workers, remember:

  • When possible use water systems and ventilation to control dust exposure, particularly in confined spaces
  • Wear an appropriate respirator when working around silica dust
  • Thoroughly wash hands before eating or drinking in dusty areas
  • Shower and change into clean clothes as soon as possible after work 

Controlling for silica hazards reaps benefits in the short term and the long term for workers in preventing illness. For resources regarding silica exposure and control, visit our website here or contact your regional safety advisor.