Durability + Design
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site

 

D+D News

Main News Page


No Delay in Silica Rule Challenge

Friday, February 24, 2017

More items for Good Technical Practice

Comment | More

The legal challenge against the new federal respirable silica rule remains on schedule, despite a recent attempt to delay proceedings.

A panel of federal judges recently denied a motion for a 60-day delay—an effort the petitioners said might have given President Donald Trump's administration time to examine the rule.

The ongoing case, N. Amer. Bldg. Trades Unions v. OSHA, pits both industry groups and some unions against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which put the new rule in place last year.

Industry groups have expressed concerns about how protection requirements were determined, while unions challenging the law are concerned with provisions related to free silica testing and protection for workers who need to be removed from a worksite as a result of silica exposure.

Rule Effective in June

OSHA issued its final rule on respirable silica exposure in March 2016. The updated rule reduces the permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour shift.

Silica guide
OSHA

OSHA recently issued a Small Entity Compliance Guide for the smaller businesses working to comply with the new silica rule.

The final rule also includes key provisions that require employers to:

  • Use engineering controls (such as water or ventilation) and work practices to limit worker exposure;
  • Provide respiratory protection when controls are not able to limit exposures to the permissible level;
  • Limit access to high-exposure areas;
  • Train workers; and
  • Provide medical exams to highly exposed workers.

Two rules were issued: one for the construction industry and one for general industry. Employers covered by the construction standard have until June 23, 2017, to comply with most requirements, while employers covered by the general industry and maritime standard have until June 23, 2018.

OSHA recently issued a Small Entity Compliance Guide for the smaller businesses working to comply with the new silica rule.

About Silica

Silica is one of Earth's most common minerals, found in stone, rock, brick, mortar and block. Exposure to airborne silica dust occurs in operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling and crushing of concrete, brick, block and other stone products and in operations using sand products, such as in glass manufacturing, foundries and abrasive blasting.

blasting
NIOSH

Exposure to airborne silica dust occurs in operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling and crushing of concrete, brick, block and other stone products and in operations using sand products, such as in glass manufacturing, foundries and abrasive blasting.

Studies indicate that breathing in silica dust can lead to the debilitating and potentially fatal pulmonary disease silicosis—an incurable and progressive disease—as well as lung cancer.

Suit on Schedule

The suit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, requires final briefs by March 23.

Industry groups, which oppose the measure on a broader scale, had sought a 60-day delay, in hopes that the extra time would give the new presidential administration time to consider the case, and possibly drop the government’s defense of the rule.

Union groups, which seek more specific changes to the rule, petitioned to move forward with the case.

The unanimous ruling from a three-judge panel came with no further explanation; it simply says the motion for a delay was denied.

Labor Department in Flux

OSHA is part of the Department of Labor, which is currently under the direction of Acting Secretary of Labor Edward Hugler. President Donald J. Trump’s original nominee for Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his nomination for the post Wednesday (Feb. 15), after reports indicated some Senate Republicans might join Democrats in voting against his confirmation. The following day, Trump announced that Alexander Acosta would be his new nominee for the position.

How the Labor Department will operate under Trump and a new Labor Secretary remains to be seen, but Trump has been upfront about looking to eliminate regulations rather than increase them. On Jan. 30, he signed an executive order that mandates the elimination of two federal regulations for every new regulation that hits the books.

   

Tagged categories: Abrasive blasting; Government; Lawsuits; OSHA; President Trump; Silica; Silica rule

Comment from M. Halliwell, (2/24/2017, 10:57 AM)

I know the new US administration may turn its back on this in the future, but I personally think this is a very much needed rule. I should think the science behind the levels would be easy enough to provide to the industry groups (assuming they were developed using a sound scientific technique....fugacity modeling, perhaps?). I'd like to know exactly what the Unions' concerns are...testing is protective of their members. As for the protections for workers to prevent continued overexposure, what exactly are the Unions looking for?


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
Novatek Corporation
 
Novatek Portable Air Filtration Systems
 
Air Scrubbers/Negative Air machines for restoration, abatement, dust & odor control, hazardous contaminant removal from job sites to clean rooms and hospitals. Portable, affordable!
 

 
Shield Industries, Inc
 
FireGuard® E-84 Intumescent Coating - Shield Industries, Inc
 
Trust the certified protection of the industry’s most innovative intumescent coating FireGuard® E-84 to provide you with the 1 and 2 hour fire ratings you need.
 

 
Keim Mineral Coatings
 
Mineral Silicate Paints + Stains Fuse to Concrete
 
• Forms permanent chemical bonds
• Becomes part of the concrete
• Will never peel
• Looks completely natural
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@durabilityanddesign.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 

© Copyright 2012-2018, Technology Publishing Co., All rights reserved