The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s proposal to comprehensively regulate silica (quartz) in general industry, maritime, and construction is anticipated by Labor Day. Publication of the proposal to extensively regulate one of the most common minerals on Earth, like arsenic and lead, will trigger a public comment period and hearings.  

The proposed rule, which could be one of the most significant rulemakings in OSHA’s history, is expected to cut in half the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable silica dust and require a wide range of ancillary protective measures, including engineering controls, air and medical monitoring, restricted work areas, housekeeping mandates, respirator use, warnings, training and recordkeeping.  The full article can be read here.