On Aug. 23, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it is proposing a new rule to modify regulations governing worker exposure to crystalline silica in the workplace.
Exposure to airborne silica dust, which can have detrimental health effects, occurs in operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling and crushing of concrete, brick, block and other products that contain sand. The proposed rule includes two separate standards—one for general industry and maritime employment and one for the construction industry.
NRCA is reviewing the proposed rule to determine how the regulatory changes affect the roofing industry. NRCA also is working within a coalition of construction organizations in Washington, D.C., to analyze the proposal’s effect on construction employers and formulate public comments that will be submitted to OSHA.
The rule provides for a 90-day public comment period from the date of publication in the Federal Register, which likely will be sometime this week. OSHA also will hold public hearings regarding the proposed rule throughout the U.S. The agency then will have to respond to the public comments when it issues its final rule.