OSHA Expects to Complete Silica Rule This Month
OSHA’s latest semiannual regulatory agenda projects that the final rule for occupational exposure to crystalline silica, which has been in development for more than 15 years, will be completed in February. Published in September 2013, the agency’s proposed rule would set a new permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air calculated as an eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA), down from about 100 micrograms for general industry and 250 micrograms for construction and shipyards. OSHA received more than 1,700 comments on the proposed rule and heard testimony from more than 200 stakeholders during public hearings on the proposal. The website of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has published the silica rule and the full regulatory agenda for the Department of Labor (DOL), which includes all of OSHA’s rulemaking priorities as well as the status of rules from other DOL agencies.