OSHA Silica Rule Enforcement Begins September 23

On Sept. 7, AGC held a comprehensive webinar detailing not only the requirements of the U.S. the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) respirable crystalline silica standard for the construction industry, but also the perspective of and testimonials from prime and specialty contractors implementing the regulation. Construction industry safety professionals from AGC member firms Haselden Construction—a vertical building general contractor—Kokosing Construction Company—a heavy highway and industrial general contractor—and Faith Technologies—an electrical specialty contractor—discussed how they are dealing with the real world impacts of carrying out this standard on a wide variety of construction jobs.

In addition to this webinar, AGC has developed for AGC members the “Respirable Crystalline Silica in Construction” webpage designed to provide contractors with a better understanding of what is expected of them from OSHA. The information on the page includes the following:

  • Plain text summary of the rule;
  • Compliance flow chart;
  • Enhanced Table 1; and
  • Air monitoring and objective data collection form.

The standard provides a comprehensive and complex regulatory scheme for protecting construction workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica containing dust.  The scope of the standard applies to all occupational exposures to respirable crystalline silica and significantly lowers the permissible exposure limit (PEL) from 250 micrograms/m3 to 50 micrograms/m3.  In addition to the new PEL, contractors will also have to comply with a host of ancillary provisions such as respiratory protection (when required by the standard), housekeeping, medical surveillance, and recordkeeping. Enforcement of the standard begins nationwide, with limited exceptions, on September 23.

To access the recent silica webinar, click here. To access AGC’s comprehensive silica educational resource webpage, click here.

For more information contact Kevin Cannon at or 703-837-5410. 

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