No formal action is expected until early next year. OSHA has not decided between two approaches: convening a panel to address small business compliance concerns or launching a consensus standard
But according to the Labor Department's latest semiannual regulatory agenda published on May 13, OSHA announced that it will move on the issue of exposure to crystalline silica. The agency says crystalline silica remains a "serious threat" to more than 2 million U.S. workers, including 100,000 high-risk jobs in abrasive blasting, foundry work, stonecutting and tunnel work. In addition, the agency also points to recent studies that indicate a statistically significant increase in lung cancer among silica-exposed workers.