Silica Standards – Good Faith Employers Given Deadline Extension

Washington – Employers who are found to be acting in “good faith” will have an additional 30 days to comply with OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica in Construction Standard, according to a Sept. 20 memorandum from the agency.

The Respirable Crystalline Silica construction standard, 29 CFR § 1926.1153, became enforceable on September 23, 2017. The standard establishes a new 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 50 µg/m3, an action level (AL) of 25 µg/m3, and a host of ancillary requirements.

In the memo sent to regional administrators, OSHA Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas Galassi wrote that employers who are making attempts to comply with the new regulations will receive assistance and outreach.

Galassi said: “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.”

“However, employers who are not making strides to comply will undergo air monitoring and may receive citations”, Galassi wrote. He added that OSHA has created and will disseminate provisional inspection and citation guidelines within 30 days.