Back in March of this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, issued its final rule that aims to protect workers from exposure to silica dust. OSHA worked with the Department of Labor to issue this new rule, which looks to reduce the allowed exposure to silica from 250 micrograms per cubic meter over an eight-hour period to 50 micrograms. The new standards just went into effect June 23.
OSHA’s new rule also mandates that companies must record instances of worker exposure to silica and provide medical exams every three years to employees that are exposed to the substance for long enough periods. Employers are also required to develop a written silica exposure plan and deliver training.
While this rule was implemented to increase the safety of construction works, their very industry has been at odds since the new standard was announced. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders, or NAHB, along with 25 other trade associations, formed the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, or CISC, to spearhead the campaign against this rule.
The NAHB and CISC state that the rule presents disruptive operational and economic burdens. After the rule was announced, eight construction industry groups filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit requesting a review of the rule.
While the rule is now in place, it is apparent that groups will not stop fighting for what they believe.
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