(OSHA) was scheduled to begin enforcement of the silica rule in construction on Saturday, Sept. 23.
NAHB’s Silica in Construction Toolkit, found at nahb.org/silica, provides background on crystalline silica as well as resources for helping home builders and remodelers comply with the rule.
*OSHA has announced that it will consider good-faith efforts by employers to comply with the new silica rule for the first 30 days following the start of enforcement on Saturday, Sept. 23. Learn more.
As noted on NAHB’s priority issues page on this topic, OSHA has determined that a rule is needed to substantially reduce the risk of serious disease from exposure to airborne concentrations of silica dust.
Silica is a component of soil, sand and granite, and occurs in many commonly used building products such as mortar, concrete, bricks, blocks, rocks and stones. It can be disturbed by construction activities ranging from cutting concrete and brick to moving soil around the jobsite.
The crystalline silica rule issued in March 2016 is the most far-reaching regulatory initiative ever finalized for construction with an industry-estimated cost of $5 billion per year — roughly $4 billion per year more than OSHA estimates. NAHB and the Construction Industry Safety Coalition have requested that OSHA withdraw the rule and talk frankly with the construction industry about a more feasible and economical approach to dealing with the silica hazards.
NAHB’s legal challenge on the silica rule is still pending. The case is scheduled to be argued before the court on Sept. 26.
State-run OSHA programs have six months to adopt the federal rule or develop one that is equally effective.
To learn more about the rule and its requirements, see NAHB’s silica toolkit. Information is also available on OSHA’s website at www.osha.gov/silica.