OSHA has issued a Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction. This guide is intended to help small businesses understand and comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Respirable Crystalline Silica standard for Construction. Workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica are at increased risk of developing serious adverse health effects including silicosis, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease. This guide describes the steps that employers are required to take to protect employees in construction from the hazards associated with exposure to respirable crystalline silica.
Construction employers must comply with all requirements of the standard by June 23, 2017, except the requirement to use laboratories that analyze respirable crystalline silica samples according to the procedures in Appendix A, which will be enforced beginning on June 23, 2018. That means that as of June 23, 2017, employers must either fully and properly implement Table 1 requirements or implement alternative exposure control measures, and comply with requirements for respiratory protection, housekeeping, medical surveillance, hazard communication and training, and recordkeeping. Prior to June 23, 2017, the previous PEL (a formula that is approximately equivalent to 250 µg/m3 of respirable crystalline silica as an 8-hour TWA) remains in effect.