Silica Standard (Part 1): OSHA's Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard in Full Force and Enforcement Occuring

Miller & Martin PLLC Blog | November 12, 2018

OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard was finalized in 2017 and OSHA has begun full enforcement for construction, general industry and maritime employers.

The Silica Standard applies to all occupational exposures of respirable crystalline silica in construction except where the exposure will remain below the action limit of 25 micro grams per cubic meter under any foreseeable conditions. In the construction industry the term “any foreseeable condition” should be interpreted incredibly broadly based upon the work that is being conducted. OSHA has exempted certain small tasks as being outside of the scope of the Standard such as tasks of short duration and mixing small amounts of materials.

For general industry the Silica Standard applies unless the general industry employer has objective data showing that the exposure will remain below the actionable 25 micro grams per cubic meter under all foreseeable conditions. One difference in the general industry requirements is that general industry must complete an assessment and have objective data such as air quality measurements to take the work out of the Standard.

Oftentimes we scratch the surface of OSHA standard making and enforcement; however, this is one instance where we are going to delve into OSHA’s Crystalline Silica Standard. In the next six posts we will discuss certain aspects of the Silica Standard.

Tags: Crystalline Silica Standard, OSHA