The Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) has responded to OSHA’s request for information regarding changes to the “Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica – Specified Exposure Control Methods Standard,” also known as the silica rule. Specifically, OSHA requested comments in mid-August on potential changes to Table 1, which designates compliance actions for a range of conditions and tasks exposing workers to respirable crystalline silica.
CISC, comprised of 26 members including Associated Builders and Contractors, has formally requested that OSHA expand compliance options. “Expanding Table 1 and otherwise improving compliance with the rule is of paramount importance to member associations and contractors across the country,” CISC tells OSHA Principal Deputy Loren Sweatt. “Based upon feedback from contractors, both large and small, compliance with the rule remains challenging.”
With this in mind, CISC is asking OSHA to exclude mortar mixing, dry wall installation/finishing and other tasks with sub-threshold dust levels. The coalition suggests adding “an ‘under one hour’ column/row or an ‘under one hour’ table that provides for equipment/tasks and controls for short term activities” to Table 1, which would provide contractors greater flexibility and increase the number and types of control options available to contractors.