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OSHA Is Considering Changes to their Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard, Seeks Input

Posted on Wed, Aug 14, 2019 @ 02:09 PM

OSHA Requests Input on Proposed Changes to the Silica Standard

OSHA sent a Trade Release out on August 14, 2019, announcing that they are seeking input from industries affected by their Crystalline Silica regulations. Construction companies, rock cories and any other businesses engaged in jackhammering, cutting or braking rock, concrete, masonry and other materials containing crystalline silica are obligated to employ measures to prevent their workers from inhaling the crystalline silica dust. If you are affected by the regulation, this is your chance to have input.

Comments must be submitted by October 14, 2019. Comments and materials may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for submission details.

You may also like to read our earlier blog about OSHA regulation, enforcement and penalties, Save Your Workers' Lungs & OSHA's Staggering Penalties for Violations of Crystalline Silica Rules.

The (corrected) OSHA trade release is provided below:


OSHA-Trade-Release

U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office of Communications
Washington, D.C.
www.osha.gov


CORRECTED

For Immediate Release
August 14, 2019
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is requesting information and comment on Table 1 of the agency’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction. OSHA seeks information on additional engineering and work practice control methods to effectively limit exposure to silica for the equipment and tasks currently listed on Table 1. The agency is also requesting information about other construction equipment and tasks that generate silica that it should consider adding to Table 1, along with information about their associated engineering and work practice control methods.

In addition, OSHA is seeking comments about whether to revise paragraph (a)(3) of the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for General Industry to broaden the circumstances under which general industry and maritime employers would be permitted to comply with Table 1 of the silica standard for construction.

Information submitted will allow OSHA to consider new developments and enhanced control methods for equipment that generates exposures to silica, and provide additional data on exposures to silica from equipment and tasks using a variety of control methods under different workplace conditions. Expanding Table 1 to include additional engineering and work practice control methods, equipment, and tasks could provide employers with more flexibility and reduce regulatory burdens while maintaining protections for employees.

If information submitted in response to this request indicates that revisions to the silica standards are needed, the agency will then publish the proposed revisions in the Federal Register for public comment.

Comments must be submitted by October 14, 2019. Comments and materials may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for submission details.  

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for American working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.  

Editor’s Note: The second paragraph was edited for clarity, and the deadline for submitting comments was corrected.

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