As we shared in May 2017, OSHA delayed the enforcement for the final rule on respirable crystalline silica in construction until September 23, 2017. But what does this mean for employers in the construction industry?
Since the enforcement date has already been delayed, there is some uncertainty on whether or not the rule will get delayed again. But regardless, it is important for you to get prepared to meet the updated regulation.
The full text of the rule can be found on the OSHA website as well as a summary. In reviewing this information, our team finds the following as important action items for all who are impacted by the silica rule. Implementing this will take time, so do not delay. Start making plans so you can be in compliance with this OSHA standard.
- Familiarize yourself with Table 1 under 29 CFR 1926.1153. It can be found on pages 2-14 of this PDF. The table details out specified exposure control methods for working with materials containing crystalline silica.
- Perform air testing to assess the exposure of any employees who is or may reasonably be expected to be exposed to silica at or above the permissible exposure limit.
- Establish methods of compliance, including engineering and work practice controls.
- Establish and implement a written exposure control plan/program.
- Make and maintain accurate records related to exposure measurements, objective data, and medical surveillance.
- Train employees so they understand the hazards of respirable crystalline silica, what specific tasks could result in exposure, the measures the company has put in place to protect from exposure, and other requirements as specified in the rule.
We’ll keep you informed of any additional updates related to this rule so be sure to subscribe to the Gibson blog. If you have questions in the meantime, do not hesitate to reach out to me or another member of the loss prevention team.