Two million American construction workers are at risk of exposure to a deadly dust each year. When inhaled, this silent killer can cause make it difficult to breath and can lead to a fatal, incurable disease.
The Deadly Dust
One of the most important health risk detected on a construction site is the exposure to (respirable crystalline) silica dust. When silica particles are inhaled it can causes silicosis, an incurable disease that can be fatal. These tiny particles cause scar tissue to build in the lungs, which makes it difficult to breathe, and can lead to dangerous lung infections or cause cancer.
Exposure to silica on the job site occurs when cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing of concrete, brick, ceramic tiles, rock, and stone products. In the United States, estimates by OSHA are stating that potentially 2.3 million workers are exposed to dust containing crystalline silica and roughly 90% of those workers are employed in the construction industry.
The new rule from OSHA that will be taking effect in September may require individuals who work in construction, general industry and maritime, and the hydraulic fracturing industries to have chest x-ray reads by a NIOSH certified B-Reader. At Premier a knowledgeable team of NIOSH certified “B” Readers are standing by to provide you expert reviews of chest radiographs for the presence of occupational lung disease. B-Reader certification is mandatory for physicians who classify chest radiographs for certain federal surveillance projects, such as the NIOSH Coal Workers’ X-ray Surveillance Program, the Asbestos Medical Surveillance Program, and industry-sponsored medical screening programs.