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OSHA maps silica standard’s concrete plant compliance costs, target worker groups

Sources: Occupational Safety & Health Administration; CP staff

OSHA’s final Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica rule covers more than two million workers, including 134,600 in the Commerce Department-designated (NACIS) manufacturing segments of Ready Mixed Concrete, Concrete Block & Brick, Concrete Pipe and Other Concrete Products. Within the 1,772-page rule, the agency calculates annualized compliance costs of $70 million-plus for producers in the four segments, and charts crystalline silica exposure by plant worker category.

ANNUALIZED COMPLIANCE COSTS    
Segment All Est. Small Smallest    
   (per SBA)  (<20 employees)    
Ready-Mix Concrete $30,004,503 $20,250,184 $5,616,970    
Concrete Block & Brick $7,020,737 $4,550,565 $1,383,138    
Concrete Pipe $3,810,088 $1,900,067 $336,697    
Other Concrete Products $20,878,235 $14,539,705 $4,568,859    
Notes: In descending order, segments reflect Commerce Department’s NAICS 327320, 3273331, 327332 and 327390 codes. Small column reflects companies with 500 or fewer payrolls, as designated by the U.S. Small Business Administration for the four Concrete segments.    
   
   
           
           
CONCRETE PRODUCTS PLANT WORKER EXPOSURE LEVELS
Crystalline silica < 25µg/m3 25-50µg/m3 50-100µg/m3 100-250µg/m3 > 250µg/m3
Total 63.00% 11.00% 9.60% 9.60% 6.80%
 
Abrasive blasting operator 11.80% 5.90% 23.50% 23.50% 35.30%
Finishing operator 52.00% 18.00% 8.00% 12.00% 10.00%
Forming line operator 86.20% 6.20% 6.20% 1.50% – 
Material handler 56.50% 17.40% 13.00% 8.70% 4.30%
Mixer operator 74.30% 5.70% 2.90% 14.30% 2.90%
Packaging operator 33.30% 33.30% 16.70% 16.70%
Note: OSHA standard measures silica exposure as a weighted average of micrograms (µg) per cubic meter over eight-hour period
 
READY MIXED CONCRETE PLANT WORKER EXPOSURE LEVELS
Crystalline silica < 25µg/m3 25-50µg/m3 50-100µg/m3 100-250µg/m3 > 250µg/m3
Total 69.70% 6.10% 12.10% 6.10% 6.10%
 
Batch operator 87.50% 12.50% –  – 
Maintenance operator 60.00% 20.00% 20.00% –  0.00%
Material handler 69.20% 7.70% 15.40% 7.70% 0.00%
Quality control technician 100.00%
Truck driver 33.30% 67.70%
Note: OSHA standard measures exposure as a weighted average of silica micrograms (µg) per cubic meter over eight-hour period