New OSHA Rules affect D/B firms

July 8, 2016 -  By

Missy HenriksenKeeping up with all the federal, state and local safety regulations can be a big task. If your company does design/build work involving silica-containing concrete and stone, it’s important to look at the new Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) rule.

If you drill, cut, crush or grind silica-containing materials, the new rules require controls to keep workers from breathing silica dust. OSHA issued the rule to protect workers from lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease.

The new rule reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour shift. It also requires employers to use engineering controls (such as water or ventilation) 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; and train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures.

OSHA says most employers can limit harmful dust exposure in practical ways, using equipment that’s widely available—generally using water or a vacuum system to divert or capture dust at the source.

The final rule became effective on June 23 and companies have one year to comply with all requirements except the methods of sample analysis (they have two years for that).
Visit OSHA’s website for safety information materials.

This article is tagged with , , and posted in 0716
Kelly Limpert

About the Author:

Kelly Limpert is a graduate of Ohio University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Her background in online journalism and advertising aids LM in developing a strong online presence.

Comments are currently closed.