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March 24, 2016
Breaking: Long-awaited silica rule expected today

U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Assistant Secretary David Michaels, PhD, plan to announce the long-awaited and controversial silica rule at a media briefing this morning. The final rule would update a 45-year-old standard.

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According to the Agency, about 2.3 million people in the United States are exposed to fine grains of silica on the job; inhaling the dust is one of the oldest known workplace hazards. Silica, which is basically sand, scars the lungs, causing diseases like silicosis and cancer.

Approximately 676,000 workplaces will be affected, including in construction and in general industry and maritime. OSHA pegged the rule’s cost at about $1,524 per workplace and less for smaller companies. However, a coalition of construction associations issued a report in March 2015 (Costs to the Construction Industry and Jobs Impacts from OSHA’s Proposed Occupational Exposure Standards for Crystalline Silica) that estimates compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed standard will cost the construction industry more than $4.9 billion per year.

We’ll track this and let you know how the final rule compares to the one proposed from September 2013.

Also, join us for a live webinar on April 7, when Attorney Adele Abrams, CMSP, will outline what is included in the final rule and how to begin to prepare for compliance in a timely and cost-effective manner.

OSHA’s Final Rule on Crystalline Silica: Understanding the Impact, Minimizing Exposure, and Ensuring Compliance
Live Webinar: Thursday, April 7, 2016
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern/10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Pacific
Register

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