Originally set to be enforced on June 23, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration new rule regarding silica dust exposure limits has been delayed an additional 90 days, to September 23, 2017. Many construction industry groups were upset by the new rule, as they deemed it “technologically and economically infeasible, but also unnecessary.”
Construction workers mostly come into contact with silica dust when cutting concrete, stone, and brick masonry. The inhalation of silica dust can cause many health risks, including lung cancer, silicosis, COPD, and kidney disease.
When finally put into effect, the new silica rules will mark the first time the standard has been updated since 1971. The final rule will reduce the exposure limits to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, which is 5 times less than the previous allowable limit. To limit exposure to workers, employers will be responsible for implementing stronger engineering controls and/or PPE.
OSHA announced the delay in the enforcement of the rule on April 6, in a press release. In it, the organization states that “The agency has determined that additional guidance is necessary due to the unique nature of the requirements in the construction standard. Originally scheduled to begin June 23, 2017, enforcement will now begin Sept. 23, 2017.
OSHA expects employers in the construction industry to continue to take steps either to come into compliance with the new permissible exposure limit, or to implement specific dust controls for certain operations as provided in Table 1 of the standard. Construction employers should also continue to prepare to implement the standard's other requirements, including exposure assessment, medical surveillance and employee training.”
Falls from height are the leading cause of fatalities on construction sites by a long shot, as the account for around 40% of deaths. Fall protection training in the classroom can often fall short, because hearing words and learning definitions about fall prevention may not have the same effect as seeing and interacting with fall prevention techniques.
On Monday morning, a 13 story building in Miami Beach that was being prepped for demolition suddenly collapsed, injuring one Project Manager that was struck by debris.
OSHA's new crystalline silica dust exposure regulations officially went into effect on September 23, 2017. Over the past 10 months, there has been plenty of confusion about the lung disease causing material. In the first 6 months after the effective date, OSHA's inspectors yielded 116 violations across the country.
Investigators are on the scene of a catastrophic explosion at a Texas construction project that killed 1 and has injured another 15 workers. The explosion occurred on Tuesday afternoon at Coryell Memorial Healthcare System in Gatesville, Texas, which is being expanded.
[guest post] June is National Safety Month, and this week, the focus is on falls. As anyone who works in construction knows, this industry has some of the highest workplace accident and injury rates in the United States. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) ranks falls as one of their Fatal Four most deadly type of construction accidents.
Construction crews were preparing to replace window glazing on the 47-story tall Wellhouse na Leninskom tower in Moscow, Russia, when a cable snapped just as the window was about to reach the top of the structure
On March 15, 2018, a devastating pedestrian bridge that was under construction collapsed onto an open roadway below, killing 1 bridge worker and five motorists, as well as injuring 8 others. As was expected, investigations have been underway since the accident, which are expected to take at least several more months to complete