OSHA ISSUES

FINAL RULING ON SILICA

OSHA ISSUES CRYSTALLINE SILICA RULE: CLEAN AIR FOR JOBSITE SAFETY



On March 24th, 2016 OSHA issued a final ruling intended to limit exposure for Construction and General Industry to respirable Crystalline Silica.

Final ruling has several key provisions:

  • Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) by 80% to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air
  • Employers will be required to use engineering controls
  • Provides medical exams to monitor highly exposed workers
  • Provides flexibility to help employers – especially small businesses – protect workers from silica exposure

  • This will take effect on June 23rd, 2016, with compliance enforced beginning one year following the effective date. All construction employers covered by the standard are required to:

  • Establish and implement a written exposure plan
  • Designate a competent person to implement the plan
  • Restrict housekeeping practices that expose workers to silica
  • Offer medical exams every three years for workers who wear a respirator 30 or more days per year
  • Train workers on operations that result in silica exposure
  • Keep records of workers’ silica exposure and medical exams