Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Labor.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is amending its existing standards for occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. OSHA has determined that employees exposed to respirable crystalline silica at the previous permissible exposure limits face a significant risk of material impairment to their health. The evidence in the record for this rulemaking indicates that workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica are at increased risk of developing silicosis and other non-malignant respiratory diseases, lung cancer, and kidney disease. This final rule establishes a new permissible exposure limit of 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air (50 μg/m3) as an 8-hour time-weighted average in all industries covered by the rule. It also includes other provisions to protect employees, such as requirements for exposure assessment, methods for controlling exposure, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, hazard communication, and recordkeeping.
OSHA is issuing two separate standards—one for general industry and maritime, and the other for construction—in order to tailor requirements to the circumstances found in these sectors.