Unsafe Working Conditions Are Making Workers Sick

Tell the White House: Modernize Worker Safety Regulations

Every day, millions of workers inhale silica dust – a substance whose effect on the human body is comparable to asbestos.

Most at risk are construction workers who work closely with materials like sand, bricks and cement – especially those workers who operate jackhammers, cut bricks, or use sandblasters.

Every year, silica dust exposure kills hundreds and sickens thousands of workers.

Why are there so many deaths? Because the lax, outdated regulations for silica dust exposure were put on the books before anyone knew how deadly it is.

Silica is a component of common building materials like sand, brick and cement. Inhaling the dust can cause serious, potentially fatal diseases such as lung cancer, tuberculosis and silicosis.

The Department of Labor has the authority to update the regulation, saving countless workers from sickness and death.

But the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, which must grant approval before the process can continue, has stalled the update indefinitely. They received the proposal in February 2011 and should have approved it within 90 days.

Tell the Office of Management and Budget to fast track the rule.

Sign The Petition to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget

We, the undersigned, call on the White House’s Office of Management and Budget Administrator Cass Sunstein immediately to prevent deaths and illnesses among workers by fast tracking the modernized silica dust exposure regulations.

Copyright © 2017 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


You can support the fight for greater government and corporate accountability through a donation to either Public Citizen, Inc., or Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.

Public Citizen lobbies Congress and federal agencies to advance Public Citizen’s mission of advancing government and corporate accountability. When you make a contribution to Public Citizen, you become a member of Public Citizen, showing your support and entitling you to benefits such as Public Citizen News. Contributions to Public Citizen are not tax-deductible.

Public Citizen Foundation focuses on research, public education, and litigation in support of our mission. By law, the Foundation can engage in only very limited lobbying. Contributions to Public Citizen Foundation are tax-deductible.