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OSHA revisits principal reference in silica standard for construction

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration 

OSHA is soliciting industry perspective and comments on Table 1 of the agency’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction through October 14. Officials seek information on a) additional engineering and work practice control methods to effectively limit exposure to silica for listed equipment and tasks; and, b) other silica-generating construction equipment and tasks that the agency should consider adding to the table.

In addition, OSHA is open to comments about whether to revise paragraph (a)(3) of the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for General Industry to broaden the circumstances under which general industry and maritime employers would be permitted to comply with Table 1 of the silica standard for construction. Feedback will allow the agency to consider new developments and enhanced control methods for equipment that generates exposures to silica, and provide additional data on exposures to silica from equipment and tasks using a variety of control methods under different workplace conditions. Expanding Table 1 to include additional engineering and work practice control methods, equipment, and tasks could provide employers with more flexibility and reduce regulatory burdens while maintaining protections for employees, OSHA officials contend.