In late March, OSHA announced it would publish a new silica safety standard, but the construction industry claims the standard places additional regulatory burden on employers without significant enhancement to workplace safety. So reports EHS Today.
Other organizations in support of the industry, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, claim OSHA officials could have implemented better standards for crystalline silica exposure. The new rule establishes a general industry and a maritime standard with exposure limits to an 8-hour, time-weighted average of 50 micg of respirable silica per cubic meter of air.
Industry leaders, including AGC and the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association claim the new standard is unobtainable. They further maintain that the current exposure limit—when properly enforced—sufficiently protects workers and there is no sound science to show lowering it to the levels mandated by the new rule would further improve safety.