OSHA Responds to Stakeholder Questions on Silica Proposed Rule

Published January 15, 2014

Yesterday OSHA hosted a live Web chat to discuss the agency's proposed rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. OSHA staff answered participants' questions related to the proposed rule, silica risk assessment, economic impact analyses, economic and technical feasibility, and the process for submitting comments on the proposal. The Web chat is archived on OSHA's website.

OSHA's proposed rule includes a new proposed permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica: 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air calculated as an eight-hour TWA. In addition, the proposal details widely used methods for controlling workers’ exposure to crystalline silica, conducting medical surveillance, and training workers about silica-related hazards. The proposed rulemaking would establish two separate standards: one for general industry and maritime employment, and one for the construction industry.

The deadline to submit comments on the proposal is Jan. 27. For more information on this rulemaking, visit OSHA's website.