Silica Construction Manufacturing Workplace exposures

OSHA extends comment period on proposed silica rule

Foundry, silica
Foundry workers are among those at highest risk for silica dust hazards.

Washington – OSHA is extending until January the comment period for its notice of proposed rulemaking on crystalline silica exposure, the agency announced Oct. 25.

The original deadline to submit comments and testimony was Dec. 11. In response to requests for an extension, the agency moved the deadline to Jan. 27. The Nov. 12 deadline to submit intentions to appear at a planned March 28 informal public meeting on the NPRM was extended to Dec. 12.

“We strongly encourage the public to assist in the process of developing a final rule by submitting written comments and participating in public hearings,” OSHA administrator David Michaels said in a press release. “We especially hope to hear from employers, workers and public health professionals who have experience in successfully protecting workers from silica-related diseases.”

The rule, originally published in the Sept. 12 Federal Register, would update the decades-old standard by reducing the permissible exposure limit by half, among other new requirements.