Rule would amend OSHA's existing standards
On September 12, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its proposed Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica (Silica) rule in the Federal Register. OSHA's proposed rule would amend OSHA's existing standards for occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica by reducing the permissible exposure limit to 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air (50 mg/m3), calculated as an 8-hour time-weighted average.
The proposed rule also includes ancillary provisions for employee protection, such as preferred methods for controlling exposure, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, hazard communication, and recordkeeping. OSHA is proposing two separate regulatory texts: one for general industry and maritime, and the other for construction.
OSHA will accept public comments on the proposed rule for 90 days following publication in the Federal Register, followed by public hearings. Once public hearings conclude, members of the public who filed a notice of intention to appear can then submit additional post-hearing comments. Additional information on the proposed rule, including a video, procedures for submitting comments, and the public hearings can be found at here.