OSHA Makes Significant Cuts to Silica Standard Limits

Oct. 19, 2016 – In September, Minnesota’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adopted the federal administration’s change to the silica standard. The change cuts the previous Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica in half for General Industry and lowers the limit for the Construction Industry by five times. The new rule also covers engineering controls, protective clothing, medical surveillance and other user issues.

The rule is meant to protect general industry, maritime, and construction workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica and allow employers to tailor solutions for silica conditions in their particular workplace.

OSHA has published a fact sheet on the Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica (Final Rule), which includes information on:

  • What is crystalline silica?
  • Why do we need new silica standards?
  • How will the rule protect workers?
  • How will OSHA help employers comply with the rule to protect their workers?
  • What industries are affected?

For employers directly impacted by the Federal OSHA standard rule change, please visit OSHA’s State Plan FAQ for more information.

If you have any questions regarding the adopted rule or need assistance with air monitoring, please contact your advisor. Don’t have an advisor? No problem. We’ll help you find one.

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This regulatory update is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. Content provided by our professional consulting partners at Integrated Loss Control, Inc.