Safety Coalition seeks extension in OSHA silica rule compliance for contractors

Sources: Associated Builders & Contractors, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

The ABC-led Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) recently requested the Department of Labor delay enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s final rule on silica exposure, effective for construction employers on June 23, 2017, and general industry employers a year later.

“Construction employers across all trades are finding compliance extremely difficult if not impossible for many job tasks,” CISC states in a letter to the department. Table 1 in the rule, the coalition adds, is not a workable compliance option for many in the industry, which means employers have to follow the traditional method of measuring crystalline silica exposure and implementing the hierarchy of controls. “This is almost impossible, however, considering the myriad of exposure environments involved in construction and that laboratories may not be in compliance with the analytical requirements of the standard until 2018,” CISC contends.

Joined by other national construction organizations, ABC is challenging the rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Related article
Silica dust exposure protection carries the day at World of Concrete 2017