OSHA Issues Interim Guidance for Inspectors as Silica Rule Goes Into Full Effect

Full implementation of the new silica rule began today, Oct. 23, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has now issued additional “interim” enforcement guidance for regional OSHA administrators. A final compliance directive is under review and not yet released.

Earlier this month, we spoke with home building safety compliance specialist Dan Johnson for advice on complying with the new standard, which has far-reaching effects on the worksite.

NAHB has also issued a Silica in Construction Toolkit that contains information from manufacturers on tools and accessories intended to be used to meet the silica dust exposure restrictions.

Understanding OSHA Enforcement

Regional OSHA administrators will use newly issued interim guidance released Oct. 19 to enforce the silica rule, and so can be helpful for home builders so that you know what the inspectors are charged to look for and enforce in detail.

The memorandum provides inspection and citation guidance for Compliance Safety and Health Officers, and it includes flow charts to assist compliance officers with evaluating employers’ control methods.

If you review the interim guidance, you’ll see there are specific directives pertaining to the following:

  • Respiratory Protection
  • Housekeeping Practices
  • Written Exposure Control Plan, or ECP
  • Medical Surveillance
  • Communication of Hazards

Builders operating in OSHA state plans will need to check with their local administrators for further information on the silica standard in their states.

NAHB will continue to share information and guidance on complying with the silica rule as it becomes available.

For additional information, contact Rob Matuga at 800-368-5242 x8507.