Two Silica Rules for Construction?

AGC weighs in on MSHA’s proposal regarding miners’ occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica.

On September 11, AGC, along with industry partners on the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC), submitted comments on Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) proposal to update its existing standards to better protect miners against occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica.

While the CISC supports MSHA’s efforts to protect mine workers from overexposure to crystalline silica, the coalition requested that MSHA exempt construction activities conducted on MSHA sites. Construction activities are currently covered under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) final rule addressing exposure to crystalline silica. Having to comply with two different rules would be confusing, duplicative, and unnecessary, especially when compliance with the OSHA silica standard has proven effective for construction operations.

However, should MSHA ignore our request and include construction activities in a final rule, the CISC strongly recommended alignment with the current OSHA standard, which allows for employee rotation as an administrative control and development of a table of specified engineering controls, work practices, and appropriate respiratory protection.

AGC will continue to monitor and respond to this rulemaking.

For more information, contact Kevin Cannon at [email protected] or Nazia Shah at [email protected].

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