OSHA Issues Final Silica Rule
OSHA released its much discussed final silica rule. The rule lowers a general industry permissible exposure level for airborne silica from 100 micrograms of respirable silica per cubic meter of air to 50 micrograms. The final rule was written as two standards: one for construction workers and one for general industry. Employers covered by the construction standard have until June 2017 to comply, while employers covered by a general industry standard receive an additional year to comply. A wide range of industry groups, including contractors, oil and gas entities and brick manufacturers have objected to the rule, and one would expect business groups to explore all options to prevent the rule from becoming a reality. Business groups have challenged the final rule, claiming the mandates are not feasible and the cost of compliance is grossly underestimated.
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