AGC Puts Forth Case for Expanding OSHA’s Table 1 of the Silica Standard for Construction

On Oct. 15, AGC and coalition partners made the case to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)—in response to the agency’s request for information—to include more engineering and work practice control methods that effectively limit exposure to silica for the equipment and tasks currently on Table 1.

Expanding the standard’s Table 1 could provide employers with more flexibility and reduce regulatory burdens while maintaining protections for employees. Specifically, AGC recommended adding (1) an “under one-hour” table for equipment/tasks and controls for short-term activities; (2) dry cutting with vacuum attachments for stationary masonry saws and handheld power saws; and (3) the use of standard shop vacuums as part of engineering controls. AGC also recommended that OSHA exclude mortar mixing and drywall installation/finishing, as data show that the exposure levels for these activities are below actionable levels. AGC will provide further updates as the agency considers these recommendations. 

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