OSHAAn ad-hoc AEM Tech and Safety group has teamed up with other industry stakeholders to work to successfully educate and build awareness of OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) silica regulation for construction and general industry are in effect and being enforced. The construction regulation includes specific information on tasks that involve heavy equipment with enclosed cabs.

Recent meetings between AEM, OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) and other entities have centered around OSHA’s need and request for information regarding the silica rule and – more specifically – Table 1 of the silica standard.

AEM’s involvement in the implementation process includes:

  • Meetings with industry stakeholders regarding education, awareness and Table 1 revisions
  • The formation of an AEM silica group to review meeting minutes, requests and progress
  • The formation of a group comprised of individuals from OSHA, NIOSH, CPWR, AEM and other industry stakeholders tasked with creating a training video focused on silica education with heavy equipment.

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Last month OSHA published a request for information seeking comment on possible revisions to Table 1. More specifically, OSHA is seeking comments and information – including exposure data – which could assist in assessing whether revisions to Table 1 are appropriate, including:

  • The effectiveness of engineering and work practice control methods for tasks and equipment not currently included on Table 1
  • Enclosed cab features that protect the equipment operator from dust, noise and weather-related hazards
  • Positive pressurization system that provides continuous cab pressurization
  • Heating and cooling system that is set up with air circulation vents that create a one directional air flow
  • Other controls, such as water and dust suppressants, may be required if workers will be working outside enclosed cabs
  • Whether there are circumstances where it would be appropriate to permit employers covered by the silica standards for general industry and maritime to comply with Table 1 of the silica standard for construction

To file comments, visit https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=OSHA-2010-0034-4254. Comments are due by Oct. 15, 2019.

For more information, contact AEM’s William “Bernie” Bernhard at wbernhard@aem.org.

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