OSHA and the White House say the silica rule will be finalized before the end of the Obama administration, according to Aaron Trippler, government affairs director for the American Industrial Hygiene Association.
A company hired to restore the concrete finish on high-rise apartment buildings exposed its workers to falls of more than 200 feet due to scaffolding that was improperly assembled and secured to the building, according to OSHA.
In an OSHA hazard alert, “Hydraulic Fracturing and Flowback Hazards Other than Respirable Silica,” (issued in late 2014), the agency states that more workers are potentially exposed to the hazards created by hydraulic fracturing and flowback operations due to the large increase in the number of these operations in the past decade.
Rust-Oleum Corp., doing business as Synta Inc., was cited by OSHA for 33 serious safety and health violations for exposing full-time and temporary workers to crystalline silica dust, amputation and electrical hazards. OSHA initiated its inspection in February 2014, following a complaint alleging improper storage of material and inadequate forklift training. The proposed penalties total $188,500.
OSHA has quietly announced the spring semi-annual regulatory agenda, a compilation of the many issues being undertaken or considered by the agency and a look at when the agency expects action on the issues. This agenda is supposed to be a “blueprint” for the agency to follow when tackling each of the issues; however in recent years the agenda has become something that many consider a complete “wish list” as most of the activity is never concluded on time.
Outdoor Furniture Refinishing Inc., doing business as Allied Powder Coating, has been cited by OSHA for 15 serious health and safety violations with a proposed fine of $55,440. OSHA cited the sandblasting and powder coating company for exposing workers to toxic chemicals, including silica, beyond established occupational limits.
A University of California ergonomics team has designed an innovative concrete drill jig that is proving to be highly effective in limiting worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica, as well reducing fatigue and risk of musculoskeletal injuries.
Dozens of associations and experts scheduled to speak
March 20, 2014
OSHA’s effort to reduce the permissible exposure limits for silica began a new phase this week, with an intensive three week period of public hearings that wrap up on Friday, April 4. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels said his agency’s rulemaking is an open process, “and the input we receive will help us ensure that a final rule adequately protects workers, is feasible for employers, and is based on the best available evidence."