OSHA publishes guide on silica rule compliance for small businesses
Washington – OSHA has released a compliance guide meant to help small businesses in the construction industry adhere to a final rule regarding exposure to crystalline silica in the workplace.
The guide is intended as an advisory tool and does not create or change any obligations for employers, according to the agency. Resources for small business highlighted in the guide include specified exposure control methods, respiratory protection, housekeeping and a written exposure control plan.
Crystalline silica is a mineral found in sand, concrete, brick, stone, mortar and other common items used at construction sites. High-energy operations such as cutting, drilling or crushing rock may create small particles of respirable crystalline silica that are 100 times smaller than sand, the document states.
In March, OSHA issued a final rule lowering the permissible exposure limit to 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air during an eight-hour period for all industries.