The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has
issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their
exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule is comprised of two
standards, one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime.
OSHA estimates that the rule will save over 600 lives and
prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year, once its effects are
fully realized. The Final Rule is projected to provide net benefits of about
$7.7 billion, annually.
About 2.3 million workers are exposed to respirable
crystalline silica in their workplaces, including 2 million construction
workers who drill, cut, crush, or grind silica-containing materials such as
concrete and stone, and 300,000 workers in general industry operations such as
brick manufacturing, foundries, and hydraulic fracturing, also known as
fracking. Responsible employers have been protecting workers from harmful
exposure to respirable crystalline silica for years, using widely-available
equipment that controls dust with water or a vacuum system.
For more information you can go to the OSHA Website or contact Terry Cirone at