In March 2016, Federal OSHA promulgated a final rule on Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica for Construction, which established a new permissible exposure limit and contained several ancillary provisions that apply to the construction industry. The rule was codified at 29 C.F.R § 1926.1153 and became effective on June 23, 2016. Under the standard, all requirements were to begin on June 23, 2017 except for requirements for sample analysis which are delayed until June 23, 2018. In April 2017, Federal OSHA announced a delay in enforcement of the silica standard for the construction industry until September 23, 2017.

Following the promulgation of this standard, Kentucky’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopted the requirements of 29 C.F.R. 1926.1101 to 1926.1153 regulating occupational silica exposure. On June 26, 2017, Kentucky’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board issued an emergency regulation that amended the parallel Kentucky silica standard to align the deadline for the construction industry in the state of Kentucky with Federal OSHA. The amendment states that the provisions of section 1926.1153 “shall not take effect as to the construction industry until the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration begins to enforce the standard.”

As a result, Kentucky employers in the construction industry have until September 23, 2017 to come into compliance with the provisions of section 1926.1153, Respirable Crystalline Silica in the Construction Industry.