// CODE SNIPPET
1926.1153(d) Alternative Exposure Control Methods
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The employer shall ensure that no employee is exposed to an airborne concentration of respirable crystalline silica in excess of 50 μg/m3, calculated as an 8-hour TWA.
The employer shall assess the exposure of each employee who is or may reasonably be expected to be exposed to respirable crystalline silica at or above the action level in accordance with either the performance option in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) or the scheduled monitoring option in paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section.
The employer shall perform initial monitoring to assess the 8-hour TWA exposure for each employee on the basis of one or more personal breathing zone air samples that reflect the exposures of employees on each shift, for each job classification, in each work area. Where several employees perform the same tasks on the same shift and in the same work area, the employer may sample a representative fraction of these employees in order to meet this requirement. In representative sampling, the employer shall sample the employee(s) who are expected to have the highest exposure to respirable crystalline silica.
Where the most recent exposure monitoring indicates that employee exposures are above the PEL, the employer shall repeat such monitoring within three months of the most recent monitoring.
Where the most recent (non-initial) exposure monitoring indicates that employee exposures are below the action level, the employer shall repeat such monitoring within six months of the most recent monitoring until two consecutive measurements, taken seven or more days apart, are below the action level, at which time the employer may discontinue monitoring for those employees whose exposures are represented by such monitoring, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (d)(2)(iv) of this section.
The employer shall reassess exposures whenever a change in the production, process, control equipment, personnel, or work practices may reasonably be expected to result in new or additional exposures at or above the action level, or when the employer has any reason to believe that new or additional exposures at or above the action level have occurred.
The employer shall ensure that all samples taken to satisfy the monitoring requirements of paragraph (d)(2) of this section are evaluated by a laboratory that analyzes air samples for respirable crystalline silica in accordance with the procedures in Appendix A to this section.
Within five working days after completing an exposure assessment in accordance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section, the employer shall individually notify each affected employee in writing of the results of that assessment or post the results in an appropriate location accessible to all affected employees.
Where air monitoring is performed to comply with the requirements of this section, the employer shall provide affected employees or their designated representatives an opportunity to observe any monitoring of employee exposure to respirable crystalline silica.
When observation of monitoring requires entry into an area where the use of protective clothing or equipment is required for any workplace hazard, the employer shall provide the observer with protective clothing and equipment at no cost and shall ensure that the observer uses such clothing and equipment.
The employer shall use engineering and work practice controls to reduce and maintain employee exposure to respirable crystalline silica to or below the PEL, unless the employer can demonstrate that such controls are not feasible. Wherever such feasible engineering and work practice controls are not sufficient to reduce employee exposure to or below the PEL, the employer shall nonetheless use them to reduce employee exposure to the lowest feasible level and shall supplement them with the use of respiratory protection that complies with the requirements of paragraph (e) of this section.
In addition to the requirements of paragraph (d)(3)(i) of this section, the employer shall comply with other OSHA standards, when applicable, such as 29 CFR 1926.57 (Ventilation), where abrasive blasting is conducted using crystalline silica-containing blasting agents, or where abrasive blasting is conducted on substrates that contain crystalline silica.