OSHA Publishes Silica Proposed Rule

OSHA Publishes Silica Proposed Rule

This triggers the 90-day countdown to the deadline for filing comments on a proposal that is the most important regulatory action by OSHA this year, so far.

OSHA's proposed rule to reduce the PEL for workers' exposure to respirable crystalline silica in general industry, construction, and shipyards is published in the Sept. 12 Federal Register. Publication of the 755-page rule – thus far, the most important regulatory action by OSHA this year – starts the 90-day countdown to the deadline for submitting comments. Dec. 11 is the deadline.

The proposed PEL of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air as an eight-hour time weighted average is half of the current PEL for quartz, the most common form of crystalline silica, in general industry and far below the now-obsolete PELs for crystalline silica applied to construction and shipyards; it would be approximately equivalent to 250 μg/m3, according to the proposed rule and to Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels, who announced the proposed rule Aug. 23 in a news conference.

OSHA has defined the action level for the proposed standard as an airborne concentration of respirable crystalline silica of 25 μg/m3 calculated as an eight-hour TWA, as is typical in its other standards: The action level, which triggers exposure monitoring, has been set at half of the PEL.

OSHA is proposing other elements of a comprehensive health standard, including requirements for exposure assessment, preferred exposure control methods, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, hazard communication, and recordkeeping.

The rule explains that OSHA "preliminarily determined" an even lower PEL – 25 micrograms per cubic meter of air, 8-hr TWA – would not be feasible because engineering controls and work practices could not reduce silica exposures that low at most sites in the affected industries.

To file a comment electronically, visit www.regulations.gov and search for Docket No. OSHA 2010-0034. The full text of the rule is available here.

In the document, OSHA confirms it will hold informal public hearings beginning March 4 in Washington, D.C., and they may last several days. Peer reviewers of OSHA’s Health Effects Literature Review and Preliminary Quantitative Risk Assessment will be present to hear testimony on the second day, March 5.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Safety Management Software - Free Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Software’s comprehensive suite of modules help organizations to record and manage incidents, inspections, hazards, behavior based safety observations, and much more. Improve safety with an easy to use tool for tracking, notifying and reporting on key safety data.

  • Create Flexible Safety Dashboards

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations allows you to easily create and view safety KPIs to help you make informed business decisions. Our best of breed default indicators can also save you valuable time and effort in monitoring safety metrics.

  • Schedule and Record Observations

    IndustrySafe's Observations module allows managers, supervisors, and employees to conduct observations on employees involved in safety critical behavior. IndustrySafe’s pre-built BBS checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Why Is Near Miss Reporting Important?

    A near miss is an accident that's waiting to happen. Learn how to investigate these close calls and prevent more serious incidents from occurring in the future.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to Safety Training

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common FAQs.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - June 2019

    June 2019

    Featuring:

    • ASSP SAFETY 2019 PREVIEW
      New Orleans Networking
    • NATION SAFETY MONTH
      Heed These Summer Safety Tips
    • TRAINING
      Education, Skill Development, and Behavior Change
    • SAFETY MANAGEMENT
      What Good Looks Like
    View This Issue

Bulwark Quiz