Increased Enforcement of the New Silica Rule-May 2018

Monthly Round Up of Important Ideas and Standards in
Industrial Hygiene and Safety

May 2018

IN THIS ISSUE: Increased Enforcement of the New Silica Rule

On September 23, 2017, the new Respirable Crystalline Silica rule for Construction became enforceable. At the direction of the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, during the first thirty days OSHA compliance officers would not issue citations as long as employers made a good faith effort to comply.

That directive has since expired on October 23, 2018 and In the six months since that date OSHA has been ramping up enforcement. According to a Bloomberg Environment analysis of OSHA records, “The Occupational Safety and Health Administration‘s enforcement of the rule (29 C.F.R. 1926.1153) is gradually gaining momentum since compliance requirements took effect Sept. 23. The agency and states using the federal rule cited 116 alleged silica violations at companies around the U.S. as of April 17, 2018.”

The greatest number of citations came from failure to measuring silica exposure levels lack of compliance with Table 1 of the standard. Employers as soon as possible should do the following:

  • Survey and list all jobs where employees may be overexposed to Respirable Crystalline Silica.
  • Determine if any of these activities are listed on Table 1 of the 1926.1153 standard.
  • For those jobs listed, comply with all controls indicated.
  • For those jobs not listed, conduct personal air monitoring to the assess whether exposure is at or exceeds the Action Level

Employers have had ample notice of the Respirable Crystalline Silica standard since it was first promulgated in 2016. For those who have not met the requirements, immediate action is needed to protect workers and avoid costly citations.

For more information on this topic and to discuss your company’s safety and industrial hygiene needs call OccuSafe at (214) 662-6005 or visit us at 

OccuSafe Industrial Hygiene & Safety, Inc. provides skills and expertise to recognize, evaluate and control hazards and injuries in the areas of industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health. OccuSafe services companies of all sizes in a range of industries.

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