OSHA Issues Final Rule on Silica

March 25, 2016
Industry groups call the new rule a "public health victory" and a "long overdue step" in protecting workers.

The U.S. Department of Labor today issued a final rule on respirable silica dust.

The rule, which will limit worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica, has been a long time in the making, with proponents working for decades to increase protections for workers.

The new rule updates regulations established in 1971 and goes a long way in protecting workers from the hazards of silica exposure – lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease.

“Today, millions of workers can breathe easier. This victory will help stop preventable illnesses and deaths. Preventable: that is the key word,” AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler said during an event Thursday at the International Masonry Institute in Bowie, Md.

The new rule establishes two standards – one for general industry and maritime and one for the construction industry – and limits exposure to an 8-hour time-weighted average of 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air.

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EHS Today is an IndustryWeek companion site within Penton's Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group.

About the Author

Ginger Christ | Ginger Christ, Associate Editor

Focus: Workplace safety, health & sustainability.

Call: 216-931-9750

Connect: Google+ LinkedIn | Twitter

Ginger Christ is an associate editor for EHS Today, a Penton publication.

She has covered business news for the past seven years, working at daily and weekly newspapers and magazines in Ohio, including the Dayton Business Journal and Crain's Cleveland Business.

Most recently, she covered transportation and leadership for IndustryWeek, a sister publication to EHS Today.

She holds a bachelor of arts in English and in Film Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.



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