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OSHA Issues Guidance on Enforcement of Silica Standards

The Department of Labor’s Occupational and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced the issuance of a crystalline silica compliance directive designed to ensure uniformity in inspection and enforcement procedures when addressing silica exposures in construction, general industry, and maritime.

The new directive provides OSHA compliance safety and health officers with guidance on how to enforce the silica standards’ requirements, including: (1) methods of compliance; (2) Table 1 tasks and specified exposure control methods; (3) exposure assessments; (4) housekeeping; (5) respiratory protection; (6) regulated areas; (7) recordkeeping; (8) employee information and training; (9) medical surveillance; and (10) communication of hazards. 

The directive also provides clarity on major topics, such as alternative exposure control methods when a construction employer does not fully and properly implement Table 1, variability in sampling, multi-employer situations, and temporary workers.

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