The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced on April 6th a delay in enforcement of the crystalline silica standard.
OSHA had previously published a March 25th, 2016 Federal Register Notice amending its existing standards for occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. See 81 Fed. Reg. 16286.
OSHA cites as a reason for the delay a need to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers in the construction industry.
OSHA states that it determined that:
. . .additional guidance is necessary due to the unique nature of the requirements in the construction standard.
The standards was originally scheduled to begin June 23, 2017. The agency states that enforcement will now begin September 23, 2017. OSHA also notes that it expects:
. . .employers in the construction industry to continue to take steps either to come into compliance with the new permissible exposure limit, or to implement specific dust controls for certain operations as provided in Table 1 of the standard. Construction employers should also continue to prepare to implement the standard’s other requirements, including exposure assessment, medical surveillance and employee training.