On June 25, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a compliance directive designed to ensure uniformity in inspection and enforcement procedures when addressing respirable crystalline silica exposures in general industry, maritime and construction.

According to a DOL news release, the new directive provides OSHA compliance safety and health officers with guidance on how to enforce the silica standard’s requirements, including:

  • Methods of compliance;
  • Table 1 tasks and specified exposure control methods;
  • Exposure assessments;
  • Housekeeping;
  • Respiratory protection;
  • Regulated areas;
  • Recordkeeping;
  • Employee information and training;
  • Medical surveillance; and
  • Communication of hazards.           

Additionally, the directive discusses alternative exposure control methods when a construction employer does not fully and properly implement Table 1, variability in sampling, multiemployer situations and temporary workers.

On Oct. 15, 2019, ABC submitted comments as part of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition on OSHA’s Request for Information on Table 1 of the agency’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction. Silica remains a top priority for ABC.

More information on the crystalline silica standards for general industry, maritime and construction can be found on the OSHA website.

ABC will continue to keep members informed of any developments on the silica rulemaking in Newsline.