OSHA is contemplating revisions to its silica standard for the construction industry, according to the latest Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The agency has issued a request for information on the effectiveness of control measures not currently included for tasks and tools listed in its Table 1 for the standard.
The agency is also interested in tasks and tools involving exposure to respirable crystalline silica that are not currently listed in Table 1, along with information on the effectiveness of dust control methods in limiting worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica when performing those operations. OSHA intends to evaluate the available information to determine if revisions to Table 1 may be appropriate.
As the rule currently stands, employers who follow Table 1 methods are not required to measure workers' exposure and are not subject to permissible exposure limits. Those that do not use the Table 1 control methods are required to measure the amount of silica workers are exposed to, use dust controls to protect workers from exposures, and provide respirators to workers when dust controls cannot limit exposures. The silica request for information is in the "pre-rule" stage, with information and feedback due to OSHA by December.Read More