WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration 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.
Tool manufacturers like Bosch are supportive of the standard. “Bosch is supportive of OSHA’s effort to enhance the safety of workers in the construction industry. The enforcement date for meeting stricter respirable silica dust levels has moved out 90 days to Sept. 23, 2017, which gives everyone more time to prepare. Clearly the danger from silica dust exposure still exists and this later enforcement date offers more time for employers to meet these requirements and keep workers safe. Although this is a federal guideline, we’re seeing that some parts of the country, including California, continue to work toward the original enforcement date of June 23, 2017. Bosch remains committed to working with the construction industry to get people trained, as well as providing industry-leading products that meet the growing need for dust solutions,” said David Pizzolato, group marketing manager, Robert Bosch Tool Corporation.