Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that OSHA will delay the crystalline silica standard in the construction industry.
Enforcement of the silica standard, which was originally scheduled to begin on June 23, 2017, will now commence on Sept. 23, 2017 after the agency determined that additional guidance is necessary due to the unique nature of the standard’s requirements.
As per a recent U.S. Department of Labor news release,
“OSHA expects employers in the construction industry to continue to take steps either to come into compliance with the new permissible exposure limit, or to implement specific dust controls for certain operations as provided in Table 1 of the standard. Construction employers should also continue to prepare to implement the standard’s other requirements, including exposure assessment, medical surveillance and employee training.”
Keeping workers safe, worksites compliant with OSHA silica standard
Last March, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez announced the new silica rule’s implementation during a stakeholder event in Bowie, MD. During his address, Perez explained that the Department of Labor had “known for over 40 years” that the silica standard required strengthening.
“Many people who are going to work right now and breathing unacceptable levels of silica dust are in for a brighter future,” Perez said.
Though the new rule’s enforcement has been delayed three months, the current rule still applies. As recently as January 2017, a concrete manufacturer was fined nearly $89,000 — after being assessed $153,900 in penalties in 2013 — for exposing its workers to airborne silica.
Learn more about how Worksite Medical can keep you and your employees in compliance with silica physicals & medical surveillance testing.
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