To protect the health of those occupationally exposed to respirable crystalline silica, the main industries in European Union associated with exposure to respirable silica, agreed on appropriate measures for the improvement of working conditions through the application of good practices, as part of 'The Agreement on Workers Health Protection through the Good Handling and Use of Crystalline Silica and Products Containing it' (NEPSI agreement), signed in April 2006. The present paper examines trends in exposure to respirable crystalline silica in Finland prior to and following the implementation of the NEPSI agreement and includes a working example of the NEPSI approach in the concrete industry. Data derived from workplace exposure assessments during the years 1994-2013 are presented, including 2556 air samples collected mostly indoors, from either the breathing zone of workers or from stationary points usually at a height of 1.5 m above the floor, with the aim to estimate average exposure of workers to respiratory crystalline silica during an 8-h working day. The aim was, to find out how effective this unique approach has been in the management of one of the major occupational hazards in the concerned industries. Application of good practices as described by the NEPSI agreement coincides with a strong decline in the exposure to respirable crystalline silica in Finnish workplaces, as represented by the clientele of Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. During the years followed in the present study, we see a >10-fold decrease in the average and median exposures to respirable silica. Prior to the implementation of the NEPSI agreement, >50% of the workplace measurements yielded results above the OEL8 h (0.2mg m(-3)). As of present (2013), circa 10% of the measurements are above of or identical to the OEL8 h (0.05mg m(-3)).