WASHINGTON, DC – On March 18, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began holding public hearings for the notice of proposed rulemaking on occupational exposure to crystalline silica. This marks the beginning of an intensive three weeks of public comment on the proposal, with hearings scheduled through Friday, April 4.
“We look forward to receiving feedback from our stakeholders on our proposal, and we’re grateful for the continuing high level of public engagement throughout the rulemaking,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “This is an open process and the input we receive will help us ensure that a final rule adequately protects workers, is feasible for employers, and is based on the best available evidence.”
OSHA’s proposed rule seeks to lower worker exposure to crystalline silica, which causes silicosis, an incurable lung disease. Leading scientific organizations, including the American Cancer Society, have also confirmed the causal relationship between silica and lung cancer. The proposal is based on a review of scientific and technical evidence, consideration of current industry consensus standards and consultation with stakeholders.
Members of the public may attend the sessions to listen to testimony from OSHA and other hearing participants. To learn more about the hearing procedures, visit http://www.osha.gov/silica/hearing_procedures.html.
To view the hearing schedule, visit http://www.osha.gov/silica/hearing_schedule.html.
Published in the Federal Register on September 12, 2013, OSHA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica aims to update the inconsistent and outdated permissible exposure limits for crystalline silica in general industry, construction and shipyards, as well as to establish other provisions to better protect workers. Additional information on the proposed rule, including five fact sheets, is available at http://www.osha.gov/silica/.