Now in Effect: New OSHA Crystalline Silica Construction Standard
crystalline silica in the construction sector took effect on September 23, 2017. OSHA updated its permissible exposure limits (PELs) for crystalline silica, found at 29 CFR 1926.1153, in a Final Rule promulgated in March 2016.
To help construction sites maintain compliance with the new Standard, OSHA released an enforcement guidance letter on September 20. In the letter, OSHA announces that inspectors will take into consideration good faith efforts taken by employers to meet the new silica standard.
If sites are found not to be making a good faith effort to comply, OSHA may collect air samples and consider citing the employer for any violations.
OSHA plans to release official enforcement guidance for inspectors in the next 30 days.
Silica is a naturally occurring mineral that makes up about 12% of the earth’s crust, most often in the form of quartz. When quartz and other silica-containing rocks are ground into dust, the crystalline particles can be inhaled and, over time, cause severe health problems like chronic silicosis and lung cancer.
What Is Crystalline Silica?
Silica is a danger to workers in general industry, construction, and maritime jobs.
To read more about OSHA’s Final Rule for crystalline silica in the construction sector, check out OSHA Completes Long-awaited Silica Exposure Protections.
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