After attending the OSHA Roundtable sponsored by the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy to discuss OSHA’s proposed rule for respirable crystalline silica, AIHA® Government Affairs Director Aaron Trippler predicted that the proposal will take years to be enacted. The roundtable was held last Friday, Sept. 20.
“To say there was some interest in this month’s meeting to discuss the OSHA proposed silica rule is an understatement,” Trippler said. “More than 100 individuals representing nearly 100 different entities were there to listen and question OSHA personnel about the proposal.”
“There are a lot of questions. What I took away from the meeting is that industry will be banding together to oppose the proposal. In addition it is likely that the deadline to submit comments will be extended. As for the hearings in March, there was a lot of concern about having to identify and submit comments for this hearing so soon. There’s also the possibility of an extension there.”
“Bottom line: Don’t look for this to be enacted any time soon,” Trippler concluded. “And I’m talking years—not months.”
OSHA’s notice of proposed rulemaking for respirable crystalline silica was published in the Sept. 12 issue of the Federal Register, starting a 90-day public comment period. Written comments are due Dec. 11. OSHA plans to hold informal public hearings beginning on March 4. For more information about the proposal, visit OSHA’s website.