On Saturday, September 23, OSHA’s much talked about and controversial new Silica Dust Exposure Limit regulations went into effect. Late last week, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSHA, Thomas Galassi, released a memorandum that issues a 30 day “grace period” for compliance.
“During the first 30 days of enforcement, OSHA will carefully evaluate good faith efforts taken by employers in their attempts to meet the new construction silica standard. OSHA will render compliance assistance and outreach to assure that covered employers are fully and properly complying with its requirements. Given the novelty of the Table 1 approach, OSHA will pay particular attention to assisting employers in fully and properly implementing the controls in the table. OSHA will assist employers who are making good faith efforts to meet the new requirements to assure understanding and compliance,” Galassi stated in the memo.
In other words, you have to at least try to be in compliance with the new rules to be considered eligible to not be cited. Generally, if you will not be performing air monitoring on your sites, Table 1 requires the use of either the wet method or HEPA vacuum dust collection when dealing with silica containing materials.
For more information regarding the new silica rule, check out our other articles about it by clicking here.
There’s no doubt that construction workers do not get enough recognition for the hard work they put into building our nation's structures. At the end of each project, the workers are typically on to the next jobsite while executives and politicians are cutting the ribbon on their new facility.
Virginia, which averages a just slightly higher than average cost of living, is next on our countdown at #31. The state is all over the board when it comes to profession by profession breakdown, with several rankings in the 40s, 30s, 20s, and teens. Their lone profession to be ranked in the top 10 is construction managers, who have an average hourly wage of $51.46, after adjustment, which is good for 6th highest in the country.
New Mexico, our nation's 47th state, lands at #32 on our continued state-by-state countdown. After adjusting for the state's lower cost of living (5.9% lower than national average), New Mexico jumped roughly 8 spots on the list. There were 3 construction professions ranked in the top 10 versus all other states, including solar panel installers, reinforcing iron and rebar workers, and welders.
Last Monday, a 13-story building in Miami Beach was in the process of being manually demolished when the building suddenly came crashing down, some of it horizontally, and critically injured 1 of the demolition contractor’s project managers. There have been some developments in the story that we would like to update you on.
I promised myself that I wasn't going to mention potatoes, so I won't. That doesn't count. Coming in at #33 in our countdown is the state of Idaho, often referred to as the "Gem State." Boosted by their relatively low cost of living at 8.7% below the national average, Idaho jumped 11 spots after adjustment.
There are a ton of songs about the city of New York, but that unfortunately doesn't help the state in our countdown. Despite having the 4th highest cost of living, at 31.6% higher than the national average (according to MERIC), New York did still manage to land a few construction professions in the top 10, like crane operators, roofers, and concrete finishers, even after adjusting the numbers.
For the third year in a row, Seattle, Washington has the most construction cranes in their city’s skyline, a clear sign that the west coast city is still in a major growth period. Around Christmas 2016, the first year Seattle lead the most cranes race, the city put on an awesome lights show and shared an impressive video of the cranes lighting up the skyline, which you can watch here.
If not for having the lowest cost of living in the country, according to the MERIC data, MIssissippi would be in contention for the lowest ranking on our list. However, having a 14.5% lower than the national average boosted the state up 15 spots to #35 after adjustment.
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.