The revised rule requires parameters to be put in place to limit exposure to silica dust and is comprised of two standards, one for Construction and one for the General Industry and Maritime. The new respirable crystalline silica exposure rule took effect on June 23, 2016, and stipulated industries have one to five years to comply.
September 23, 2017 – Construction Industry deadline for final rule compliance. (OSHA is offering compliance assistance to employers making good faith efforts to comply during the first 30 days. For more information see September 20, 2017 memorandum.)
June 23, 2018 – General Industry, Maritime, and Hydraulic Fracturing Industries deadline for final rule compliance. (All provisions of Hydraulic Fracturing fall under this date except for Engineering Controls, which have a compliance date of June 23, 2021.)
- The permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica is reduced to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, average over an 8-hour shift.
- Employers are required to use engineering controls to limit worker exposure to the permissible exposure limit (PEL).
- When engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure, respirators are to be provided.
- Worker access to high exposure areas are to be limited.
- A written silica exposure control plan is to be developed and implemented.
- Medical exams should be offered to highly exposed workers for monitoring purposes.
- Workers need to be trained on silica risks and how to limit exposure.