On Sept.12, 2013 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed a rulemaking to limit and control silica exposures in general industry, maritime and construction. This potentially very costly rule sets a new “permissible exposure limit” and requires specific work practices like wet cutting bricks and concrete, as well as conducting special training, extensive medical surveillance and recordkeeping.
OSHA estimates that 477,500 establishments and 1.85 million construction workers may be affected by the proposed rule, which OSHA anticipates to prevent nearly 700 fatalities and over 1,600 silicosis cases each year.
NAHB’s Construction Safety & Health Committee is taking a very close look at this proposal and needs your help before the Jan. 27, 2014 deadline for public comments. A survey featuring questions posed directly by OSHA on this issue is now available at nahb.org/silicasurvey.
Please take a few minutes to respond to the survey. NAHB is working with a coalition of construction trade associations on this issue, and your input will help the association’s efforts to ensure that the final silica rule is cost-effective, reasonable and workable on all construction sites while at the same time ensuring the highest level of worker safety.