Create-A-Plan to Control the Dust

Option 2 – Perform Air Monitoring

Sampling the air for respirable silica when a dust-producing task is being performed is the best way to determine if and how much silica dust is in the air the worker is breathing. (Note: MSHA requires regular sampling of sand and gravel pits, rock crushers, aggregate recycling, and stone quarries.)

Personal air monitoring is necessary to:

There are three key steps:

  1. A professional industrial hygienist (IH) collects the air sample after discussions with workers to determine typical and worst-case exposures. (You can learn about IH qualifications and find one in your location at
  2. The IH sends the sample to a qualified laboratory where the total amount of dust and the amount of silica dust will be measured.  Typically, it will take roughly a week to receive the results, depending on the lab and whether the sample was rushed.
  3. Based on the sample’s silica content, the IH will recommend dust control options for the material and task.

Watch a video to learn more about air monitoring….

Finding an industrial hygienist or a lab – the following are on-line resources:

Note: Some insurance carriers offer on-site safety and health consultations including air sampling and air monitoring. Contact your carrier to find out if this service is available.

Types of questions to ask when hiring an industrial hygienist:

Types of information you will need to provide an industrial hygienist:

Remember, OSHA requires you to:

Other resources…