Crystalline Silica: Engineering Controls

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 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 and dry methods such as ventilation controls that use vacuums and high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to control dust.

Jackhammer
Concrete Grinder
Tuckpointing
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 findings originally published in a variety of formats including 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.

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 has been studying the health effects of silica exposures in workers and ways to prevent exposures 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.

Page last reviewed: October 23, 2019