OSHA’s New Year’s resolution: A final silica rule by February, 2016
OSHA’s fall 2015 semiannual regulatory agenda projects that the final rule for occupational exposure to crystalline silica, which has been in development for more than 15 years, will be completed in February 2016. The agency’s proposed rule, which was published in September 2013, would set a new permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air calculated as an eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA), down from about 100 micrograms for general industry and 250 micrograms for construction and shipyards. OSHA received more than 1,700 comments on the proposed rule and heard testimony from more than 200 stakeholders during public hearings on the proposal. The agency is currently reviewing and considering the evidence in the rulemaking record.
Other key items on OSHA's latest regulatory agenda:
- The occupational exposure to beryllium standard remains in the proposed rule stage. OSHA expects to analyze comments on its notice of proposed rulemaking this month.
- OSHA’s rulemaking to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses is in the final rule stage, and the agency plans to publish the final rule by March 2016.
- OSHA has initiated a new regulatory project to revoke a small number of obsolete PELs, and plans to release a request for information in July 2016.
- The combustible dust standard for general industry is in the prerule stage, and OSHA plans to initiate the small-business review in August 2016.
For more information, view the fall 2015 agency rule list, which includes all of OSHA's rulemaking priorities, as well as the status of rules from other agencies under the Department of Labor.
Source: American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)