Sheet metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

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OSHA Delays Enforcement of Silica in Construction Rule


OSHA Delays Enforcement of Silica in Construction Rule

The News Release below is an OSHA announcement delaying enforcement of the silica in construction rule until September.  This announcement does not indicate that the rule is going away.  OSHA (the new Administration) may be looking at revising or rescinding the entire regulation but, as stated in the Press Release, companies should continue efforts towards compliance until further notice.

SMACNA has developed a model written program to assist SMACNA contractors in developing a written Silica Program including compliance with Table 1 mentioned in the Press Release.  The model program is editable to match client and project requirements and is available free to members on the SMACNA safety webpage along with other model programs.  SMACNA members needing further information on silica, the News Release, or the model program can contact Mike McCullion, SMACNA director of market sectors and safety, at 703-994-4027 or mmccullion@smacna.org.

OSHA National News Release
U.S. Department of Labor
April 6, 2017

OSHA to delay enforcing crystalline silica standard in the construction industry 

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a delay in enforcement of the crystalline silica standard that applies to the construction industry to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers. 

The agency has determined that additional guidance is necessary due to the unique nature of the requirements in the construction standard. Originally scheduled to begin June 23, 2017, enforcement will now begin Sept. 23, 2017. 

OSHA expects employers in the construction industry to continue to take steps either to come into compliance with the new permissible exposure limit, or to implement specific dust controls for certain operations as provided in Table 1 of the standard. Construction employers should also continue to prepare to implement the standard's other requirements, including exposure assessment, medical surveillance and employee training. 

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.