OSHA has published a small entity compliance guide to assist small businesses within the construction industry with the new Crystalline Silica Rule. The Rule went into effect on June 23, 2016 and the Construction Industry compliance date is June 23, 2017.
Key provisions of the new rule are:
- Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air (50µg/m3), averaged over an 8-hour shift.
- Requires employers to:
- Use engineering controls to limit worker exposure to the PEL
- Provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure;
- Limit worker access to high exposure areas
- Develop a written exposure control plan
- Offer medical exams to highly exposed workers
- Train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures
- Provides medical exams to monitor highly exposed workers and gives them information about their lung health.
- Provides flexibility to help employers – especially small businesses – protect workers from silica exposures.
A link to OSHA’s Small Entity Compliance Guide is https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3902.pdf
If you have questions about complying with the new standard, are interested in training your workforce or need exposure monitoring or lab analysis, please complete the form on the “Contact” tab on top right side of our website.