For most sign companies engaged in activities that create silica dust, the easiest compliance option is to implement OSHA’s Table 1 (Specified Exposure Control Methods When Working With Materials Containing Crystalline Silica”).
Table 1 is a flexible compliance option that effectively protects workers from silica exposures. It identifies 18 common construction tasks that generate high exposures to respirable crystalline silica and for each task, specifies engineering controls, work practices, and respiratory protection that effectively protect workers. Employers who fully and properly implement the engineering controls, work practices, and respiratory protection specified for a task on Table 1 are not required to measure respirable crystalline silica exposures to verify that levels are at or below the PEL for workers engaged in the Table 1 task.
OSHA developed Table 1 in response to stakeholders in the construction industry, who indicated the need for guidance and a standard that is different than a standard for general industry. Among the concerns of construction industry stakeholders were the impracticality of exposure monitoring based on short duration of task and constantly changing conditions, such as weather, job sites and materials.