OSHA has issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America’s workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The Rule has two standards, one for Construction and one for General Industry/Maritime. Both standards of the final rule took effect on June 23, 2016., after which industries have one to five years to comply with most requirements, based on the following schedule:
Construction – June 23, 2017, one year after the effective date.
General Industry and Maritime – June 23, 2018, two years after the effective date.
Hydraulic Fracturing – June 23, 2018, two years after the effective date for all provisions except Engineering Controls, which have a compliance date of June 23, 2021.
About 2.3 million workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in their workplaces, including 2 million construction workers who drill, cut, crush, or grind silica-containing materials such as concrete and stone, and 300,000 workers in general industry operations such as brick manufacturing, foundries, and hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
For more information on the new rule on Crystalline Silica click here.