Crystalline Silica

Engineering Controls

Engineering controls are interventions that can be used to eliminate or more safely work around hazards. Incorporating engineering controls are beneficial because they reduce work-related injuries and illness. This is done by removing or minimizing hazardous conditions such as respirable dust or excessive noise. To control silica exposures, there are wet methods that use water sprays to control dust. There are also dry methods like ventilation controls that use vacuums and high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to control dust.

Concrete Grinder
Abrasive Blasting
Cut-off Saw

NIOSH Engineering Controls Database

The NIOSH Engineering Controls Database contains information on engineering control technology. The database content is summarized from previously published NIOSH research. This research was originally published as Engineering and Physical Hazard Reports, workplace solutions, and trade and journal articles. If the data was summarized from an Engineering and Physical Hazard Report, there will be a report number in the summary. If there is a pdf icon next to the number, clicking on the icon will open the original report.

Directory of Engineering Controls

NIOSH directory page providing links to engineering control-related webpages, projects, programs, tools, and resources to improve workplace health and safety.


A wet cutting blade sawing through concrete slab.

A wet cutting blade sawing through concrete slab. Image by Getty Images.

NIOSH Research and Selected Publications

NIOSH studies health effects of silica exposures in workers and exposure prevention through engineering controls in several different industries. These include mining, construction, oil and gas, stone countertop, manufacturing, and dentistry. The list of publications below provides recent studies conducted by NIOSH.

Search “silica” on NIOSHTIC-2 for additional NIOSH silica research publications.