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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Industry Priorities

Mineral Definitions - Health Standards

Ensure That Sound Science, Research and Examination of the Impact on Small Businesses


  • Contractors are faced with challenges while ensuring the well-being and health of their employees on job sites when dealing with health related problems such as: Crystalline Silica, Hexavalent Chromium, and Asbestos. Congress, OSHA, and MSHA have proposed definitions and permissible exposure levels (PELs) on various minerals and chemicals within the construction industry.

AGC Message:

  • Establish Sound Science and Research. Regulation and legislation addressing mineral definitions and health standards must be evaluated and have established methods based on sound science to determine appropriate solutions and safe practices for the industry. These definitions and standards must be both accurate and specific enough to measure regulated exposure limits and safe work practices to protect the employees while being economically feasible.
  • Impact on Small Business. Regulating Agencies must evaluate the economic impact on small businesses. A review of the Regulatory Flexibility Act is particularly important in fashioning a regulation so that it will impose the least level of burden while still protecting employees. Small businesses often function differently from larger operations and the burdens of compliance can have a significant impact.
  • Provide Reasonable Solutions for Protecting Employees. OSHA and MSHA must ensure that the methods, data, and information gathered is accurate and current, while considering and developing solutions and methods for protecting workers on a job site from health and mineral hazards. Overly burdening an employee or employer with safety practices to ensure the safety and health of employees yet based on unsound or outdated data will not only put an enormous burden on the employer, but also does not protect workers within the construction industry from hazards.
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