March 25, 2016 By Fred Hosier
In one of the most significant safety regulation changes in years, OSHA has announced its final rule to further limit workers’ exposure to respirable silica dust.
The biggest change from OSHA’s existing silica regulation: a reduction in the permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter, averaged over an eight-hour shift.
OSHA issued two separate rules: one for the construction industry, and one for general industry and maritime.
Employers covered by the construction standard have until June 23, 2017 to comply with most requirements. General industry and maritime employers have until June 23, 2018 to comply. Additional compliance time is provided to offer medical exams to some workers and for hydraulic fracturing employers to install dust control to meet the new exposure limit.