Silica In Construction Standard


October 23, 2017, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) begins full enforcement of its respirable crystalline standard for construction. If your construction company operates under any OSHA state-plans in one of 26 states or two territories, it is important that you check to see if your OSHA state-plan agency is following the federal OSHA’s lead with this enforcement policy.

Although AGC of America remains engaged in litigation against the rule in federal court, a final decision is not expected until 2018 at the earliest. As such, AGC continues to engage the Trump administration.

Silica Compliance Resources

• CEA Silica Program: Several AGC divisions in Ohio are participating as “Contributing Associations” in a silica program developed by the Construction Employers Association (CEA) to assist contractors. Members would receive: significant discounts on sampling services (through SGS Galson laboratories); silica sampling kits provide free pump loans and discounted monitoring; test reports include all three forms of silica as well as respirable dust; data to help members develop exposure plans; allow members to evaluate samples to determine employees’ exposure using the performance option of the new code; employer-controlled objective, searchable database of sampling results (once a sufficient number of samples are collected); and access to silica resources and information to help make decisions related to silica safety and compliance. It is all managed through a website to create easy access to order sampling equipment, submit results, and access the database and silica-related information. Contact your local AGC division to see if the association is participating.

Learn more at:

• AGC of America Silica Webpage: AGC developed the “Respirable Crystalline Silica in Construction” webpage with a host of resources—sample forms, webinars, flowcharts, FAQs, and more—to help AGC members understand their compliance responsibilities.

Details on Enforcement Guidelines

OSHA issued a memorandum to OSHA Regional Administrators providing interim enforcement guidance for Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) commencing enforcement on October 23. The memorandum serves as interim enforcement guidance and expires when the standard’s companion compliance directive becomes effective and available to the field.

It is important to note, however, that the memorandum does not provide specific enforcement guidance on all the standard's provisions. In addition, due to the new requirements in 29 CFR 1926.1153, OSHA has revoked their National Emphasis Program on Crystalline Silica which provided guidance to CSHOs for targeting inspections of jobsites with the potential to generate elevated exposures to crystalline silica.






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