Canadian Contractor

By Canadian Contractor staff   

Ontario launches Silica Control Tool

Canadian Contractor

Nov. 22, 2023 – Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc. (OHCOW) has launched the Silica Control Tool platform, to allow users to have a better understanding of their risks before heading into a silica-based construction job.

The tool’s purpose is to help protect workers from lung disease caused by inhaling the dust of crystalline silica, which is found in sand, rock, gravel, concrete, brick, stone, mortar, granite, glass, ceramics and many other materials.

The Ontario government has allocated $900,000 to bringing the tool to the province.

The tool was developed by the British Columbia Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA) with research from the UBC School of Population and Public Health. The platform aims to assist in conducting appropriate risk assessment and implementing controls and safe work practices where respirable crystalline silica (RCS) may be an occupational hazard.


Through the compilation of data, the tool aims to predict the expected exposure to workers under similar conditions. Based on the information the user inputs, the tool identifies processes that may lead to exposures over the allowable limit, provides information about how to bring the exposure within the allowable limit, and produces a corresponding Exposure Control Plan (ECP) for the user.

The free digital tool was officially introduced Nov. 3. It’s accessible on the WSIB website and elsewhere.


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