The NORA Respiratory Health Cross-Sector Council sometimes hosts webinars. Past presentations are archived below.

Working safely with natural and engineered stone products: Controlling worker exposure to silica dust during counter top manufacturing, finishing, and installation

Worker wearing respirator and apron cuts out a stone countertop using a small circular saw with a water spout to control dust

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
2-3:30 pm ET

This webinar describes the dangers of silica exposure, employer requirements to comply with OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Rule, and methods employers can use to protect workers. It was hosted by the NORA Respiratory Health Cross-Sector Council, OSHA, the California Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Branch, CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, and the Natural Stone Institute.

Crystalline silica is found in granite, artificial/engineered stone, and other stone products. When workers cut, grind, drill, or polish these materials, very small particles of silica dust get in the air. Breathing in these very small (respirable) crystalline silica particles can cause irreversible scarring in the lungs, trouble breathing, permanent disability, and death. Silica dust can also cause lung cancer, kidney damage, and autoimmune disease.

  • Amy Heinzerling, MD, California Department of Public Health Occupational Health Branch presented on health problems caused by silica dust exposure
  • Jonathan Bearr, PhD, Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) presented OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica Rule requirements
  • Jonathan Mitnick, Vice President and managing partner at CCS Stone, Inc. and David Scott, Owner of Slabworks of Montana provided practical tips on controlling worker silica dust exposure
  • Chaolong Qi, PhD, PE, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Patrick Corcoran, MPH, CIH, California OSHA presented methods to protect employees from silica dust

Q&A follows the webinar.

Page last reviewed: May 16, 2019