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UBC developing silica safety tool for Alberta

JOC News Service
UBC developing silica safety tool for Alberta

EDMONTON — B.C.’s Silica Control Tool could be coming to a province near you.

According to the Alberta Construction Association (ACA), researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) are searching for willing construction companies in Alberta to participate in data collection.

The researchers would be measuring exposure to respirable crystalline silica among construction workers. The information collected will be used to adapt the BC Silica Control Tool for Alberta.

B.C.’s tool was developed in collaboration with the British Columbia Safety Association to make silica risk assessment easier and less costly for construction companies.

After gathering data in B.C., the association was able to make the information searchable on an app. The tool assists employers in conducting appropriate risk assessments and implementing effective controls and safe work practices where harmful dust may be an occupational hazard, explains a release.

Through the compilation of data relating to silica dust exposures pertaining to various materials, tools and tasks in construction, the tool can predict the expected exposures to workers under similar conditions.

Those who decided to participate will have exposure measurements taken by a UBC occupational hygienist that is based in Edmonton.

According to the ACA, companies who participate will receive a report on the measurements taken at their worksites. Those who participate will have full anonymity in all reports and communications.

Those who are interested can contact Melanie Gorman Ng at or at 250-884-3050. Information about the Silica Control Tool is available at

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