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Oregon OSHA offers free Spanish online training for addressing silica dust hazards in the workplace

SALEM, – Oregon OSHA has launched a free Spanish online training course to help employers put protective measures in place for workers against the potential hazards of breathing in airborne crystalline silica dust.

Any worker exposed to dust that contains crystalline silica – from crushed rock, soil, dirt, gravel, or sand, for example – should be concerned about silicosis, a lung disease caused by breathing dust that contains particles of crystalline silica – particles so tiny you can seem them only with a microscope.

Featuring powerful visuals, personal stories, instructional videos, links to resources, and a certificate of completion, the training course is designed to boost the ability of employers to meet the requirements of Oregon OSHA’s silica rules. It offers a tool to employers and workers to bolster their existing training programs.

“The Spanish silica safety course reflects Oregon OSHA’s ongoing commitment to broaden our educational offerings to reach a variety of audiences, and to help employers and workers address a full range of potential on-the-job hazards,” said Lou Savage, interim administrator for Oregon OSHA. “Indeed, this course is not only about the important work of making workplaces safer from silica hazards. It is also about removing language barriers.”

Common sources of exposure to silica dust include cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing concrete, brick, ceramic tiles, rock, and stone products. When inhaled, silica particles become trapped in the lungs and damage the tissue. The lung tissue scars and forms small, rounded masses called nodules. Over time, the nodules grow, making breathing increasingly difficult.

The training course covers a variety of topics. They include the different forms of silica and where it can be found; job activities involving building materials that can cause silica dust to become airborne and breathable; Oregon OSHA’s silica standard and its provisions to protect workers; and instructional videos showing protective steps workers can take while using powered tools.

The course is now available. Visit all of Oregon OSHA’s Spanish-language online education and training resources.

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