OSHA recently made the final rule to improve workers’ protection from the hazards and dangers of respirable silica dust. The rule will help to precent lung cancer, silicosis, and other health issues by limiting exposure of workers to the silicia dust. The previous exposure limits were said to be outdated and allowed workers to be placed in harmful situations, now the new rule brings the “workers’ protections into the 21st century,” as stated by Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. OSHA states that the new ruling “will save more than 600 lives annually and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis – an incurable and progressive disease – each year.”
The final rule is actually divided into two parts, one for construction and one for general industries and maritime. This allows for more workers’ to be covered and protected in more efficient ways. While the rule mainly reduces exposure limits for workers, it also requires employers to utilize engineering controls, such as better ventilation or water, provide respiratory protection when other controls arent sufficient enough, and train workers so that they can better protect themselves. To read the full news release, click here. To read the entire final ruling, click here.
All information was found in the OSHA news release and in the final ruling.