The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has 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 says it 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 says it 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.
Washington-based National Demolition Association President Scott Knightly said in a statement sent to members, “NDA is pleased that OSHA has recognized the importance of delaying the rule’s enforcement to collect more data, in addition to developing written guidance. NDA is dedicated to working with OSHA to ensure the rule is effective and workable, and this is a practical step towards promoting healthy and safe workplaces.”
NDA was among a group of trade associations that filed petition for review of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) final silica rule with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in April 2016.