Testing for silica in Manitoba construction sites

For a second year, the University of British Columbia is conducting a research project looking at exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in the Manitoba construction industry. Researchers are looking for companies to work with, to measure RCS at various worksites.

UBC has sole control over the research and the data collected. The study is free of charge, with all participants remaining completely anonymous. The research work is not connected with SAFE Work Manitoba or WSH inspection or enforcement.

The goal of the study is to protect employees — employers need to know which tasks at their worksites are significant sources of RCS exposure. Because RCS testing is expensive, time-consuming and sometimes complex, UBC is building an exposure database that will help employers predict RCS exposure levels on their worksites without having to do the testing.

Any construction industry company that works with concrete, asphalt, aggregates, drywall, stone, tile or any other material containing silica can participate.

Technicians will equip workers with a personal exposure monitor to collect measurements while workers go about their normal duties. Samples are processed in a lab for processing, and results will be shared with the company. There is minimal disruption to worker productivity.

If you wish to participate or to discuss possible sites and times, please contact Phil McDaniel at 204-954-9059 or phil@mhca.mb.ca.