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The Silica Safety Coalition is a collective of dedicated stone fabricators, manufacturers, stone distributors, and industry professionals united by a shared commitment to promoting workplace safety within the stone cutting and fabrication sector. Our mission is to promote and maintain the highest standards of safety, supporting the well-being of workers throughout every stage of stone processing.

Our members represent a diverse range of expertise within the stone industry, from artisanal stone workers to large-scale manufacturers. This diversity allows us to pool our collective knowledge, experiences, and resources, fostering a collaborative environment that drives continuous improvement in safety practices. Through ongoing research, education, and advocacy, the Silica Safety  Coalition strives to stay at the forefront of safety innovation, disseminating critical information and best practices to benefit the industry.

Enforcement & Compliance POLICY

Silica, a compound composed of silicon (Si) and oxygen (O) with a molecular formula of SiO₂, ranks as the Earth’s second most prevalent mineral, commonly manifesting as “sand” and “rock.” Three primary crystalline forms, or ‘polymorphs,’ of silica exist: alpha quartz, cristobalite, and tridymite. Among these, alpha quartz, frequently referred to as crystalline silica, is the most abundant and poses a risk to humans if not handled properly.

The health dangers associated with silica stem from the inhalation of dust particles. When crystalline silica particles become airborne due to industrial activities, like dry cutting, grinding and polishing,, exposure to the fine respirable fraction of crystalline silica dust can result in debilitating and sometimes fatal conditions, notably Silicosis.

The presence of breathable airborne silica is a well-established occupational hazard and remains an ongoing concern, prompting the development of the Exposure Control Plan to empower stone-cutting and fabrication shops in proactively managing these silica exposures.

Workplace Safety

The Silica Safety Coalition wholeheartedly supports workplace safety practices within the stone-cutting and fabrication sector. OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for General Industry, OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction, and state OSHA standards require employers to limit worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica and to take other steps to protect workers.

Safety is paramount in our industry, mirroring the construction sector’s broader concerns. Employers must diligently enforce safety regulations to safeguard their workers’ health. Cal/OSHA attests that preventing Silicosis in the Stone Fabrication Industry is entirely feasible through established industrial hygiene protocols.

We endorse the prohibition against dry-cutting, dry-grinding, and dry-sanding stone products. The dust from cutting or grinding concrete, brick, or stone is not harmless; it contains crystalline silica, primarily quartz, which can be deadly. Inhaling this dust can lead to Silicosis, an incurable lung disease. However, preventing it is entirely possible by working with silica-containing materials in ways that prevent dust exposure such as the use of wet methods that help suppress this dust.

Click the button to read our letter to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (opens in a new window).

Three Types of Stone Companies

As we work alongside governmental officials in California and elsewhere to help them understand more about our industry, given the rise in silicosis cases, we categorize companies into one of three groups:


  • Good Fabricators: These fabricators prioritize employee safety, follow established rules, and allocate resources for worker well-being. Customers should seek out these fabricators and these companies should not have more regulatory burdens placed on them. 
  • Fabricators In Need of Training: Some fabricators may be unaware of the safety issues but are willing to learn and do the right thing. As an industry, we need to work with these companies and help them understand the dangers and importance of implementing best practices and specifically focus on NO DRY CUTTING.
  • Uncooperative Fabricators: Fabricators who disregard safety concerns require enforcement from regulatory agencies like OSHA. These companies have little regard for employee safety, and that’s why their workers are at risk for silicosis. These companies must be held accountable for their actions.