On Tuesday, September 20, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a memorandum to OSHA regional administrators announcing how the agency will handle enforcement of the new silica standard for the construction industry, which takes effect on September 23, 2017.
Oregon OSHA amended the compliance dates to July 1, 2018 for both general industry and construction. The one effective date, paired with education and outreach, will help increase employer understanding and compliance with the new silica standard. The effective date for medical evaluations for employees exposed to airborne levels above the action level but below the PEL is July 1, 2020. Read More
The memorandum states that during the first 30 days of enforcement OSHA will not issue citations to contractors who are putting forth good faith efforts in their attempt to comply with the requirements of the new standard. For those contractors attempting to comply, OSHA will offer compliance assistance and outreach with a focus on full and proper implementation of the controls listed in Table 1. However, if during an inspection it appears that a contractor is not making any effort to comply with the requirements of the silica standard, OSHA’s inspection will include air monitoring for exposures and the contractors may also be considered for citations. During this time period, any proposed citations are required to be reviewed by the national office.