The Occupational Safety and health Administration (OSHA) recently published new standards and guideline related to the crystalline silica. The new rules and standard will impact every facet of the construction industry. The GroundBreak Carolinas’ team has developed this content as a resource for our readers to better understand the new requirements and have access to the latest resources.
OSHA’s Proposed Crystalline Silica Rule: Overview
Workers who inhale very small crystalline silica particles are at increased risk of developing serious silica-related diseases. These tiny particles (known as “respirable” particles) can penetrate deep into workers’ lungs and cause silicosis, an incurable and sometimes fatal lung disease. Crystalline silica exposure also puts workers at risk for developing lung cancer, other potentially debilitating respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and kidney disease.
To improve worker protection, OSHA is proposing two new crystalline silica standards: one for general industry and maritime, and the other for construction. The proposals are based on extensive review of scientific evidence, current industry consensus standards, and OSHA’s outreach, including stakeholder meetings, conferences, and meetings with employer and employee organizations.
OSHA encourages the public to participate in this rulemaking. Information on submitting comments on the proposed rule and participating in public hearings can be found at www.osha.gov/silica. Your input will help OSHA develop a final rule that adequately protects workers, is feasible for employers, and is based on the best available evidence.
Helpful Resources Recommended by the GroundBreak Community:
OSHA Small Entity Compliance Guide (PDF Document)
Silica Poster (English) (PDF Document)
Silica Poster (Spanish) PDF Document
OSHA 30 Enforcement Policy for the Construction Industry (PDF Document)
OSHA Silica FAQ (PDF Document)
Carolinas AGC Webinar (October 6, 2017)