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Farrell News - OSHA

OSHA Silica Dust Rule Compliance -UPDATED

OSHA's Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica

UPDATED: OSHA to delay enforcing crystalline silica standard in the construction industry

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a delay in enforcement of the crystalline silica standard that applies to the construction industry to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers.

The agency has determined that additional guidance is necessary due to the unique nature of the requirements in the construction standard. Originally scheduled to begin June 23, 2017, enforcement will now begin Sept. 23, 2017.

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_docu...

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What does the new Silica Rule mean for you? Find out here.

Employers can either use a control method laid out in Table 1* of the construction standard, or they can measure workers’ exposure to silica and independently decide which dust controls work best to limit exposures to the Permissible Exposure Level (PEL) in their workplaces.

Compliance Schedule

  • Construction: June 23, 2017  Sept. 23, 2017

The Standards Necessary Requirements

  • Establish and implement a written exposure control plan that identifies tasks that involve exposure and methods used to protect workers, including procedures to restrict access to work areas where high exposures may occur.
  • Designate a competent person to implement the written exposure control plan.
  • Restrict practices that expose workers to silica where feasible alternatives are available.
  • Offer medical exams—including chest X-rays and lung function tests—every three years for workers who are required by the standard to wear a respirator for 30 or more days per year.
  • Train workers on work operations that result in silica exposure and ways to limit exposure.
  • Keep records of workers’ silica exposure and medical exams.

Exposure Control Specifications

  • Measure the amount of silica that workers are exposed to if it may be at or above an action level of 25 μg/m3 (micrograms of silica per cubic meter of air), averaged over an eight hour day.
  • Protect workers from respirable crystalline silica exposures above the permissible exposure limit of 50 μg/m3, averaged over an eight-hour day.

Where the Standard Does Not Apply

The standard does not apply where exposure will remain low under any foreseeable condition; for example, when only performing tasks such as mixing mortar; pouring concrete footers, slab foundation and foundation walls; and removing concrete form work.

Additional information on OSHA’s silica rule can be found at www.osha.gov/silica.

Resources:
OSHA Silica Exposure Calculator

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