OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO RESPIRABLE CRYSTALLINE SILICA RULE 29 CFR 1926.1153

OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO RESPIRABLE CRYSTALLINE SILICA

RULE 29 CFR 1926.1153

OSHA is amending its existing standards for occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. OSHA has determined that employees exposed to respirable crystalline silica at the previous Permissible Exposure Limits face a significant risk of material impairment to their health. The evidence in the record for this rulemaking indicates that workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica are at increased risk of developing silicosis and other non-malignant respiratory diseases, lung cancer, and kidney disease. This final rule establishes a new permissible exposure limit and Specific Exposure Control Methods.

COMPLIANCE SCHEDULE

Standards took effect on June 23 of 2016, after which industries must comply, based on the following schedule:

Construction - September 23. 2017, 15 months after the effective date. General Industry and Maritime - September 23, 2018, two years after the effective date

KEY PROVISIONS OF OSHA RULE 1926.1153

Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift.

Requires employers to: use engineering controls (such as water or ventilation) to limit worker exposure to the PEL; provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure; limit worker access to high exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan and train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures.

Provides flexibility to protect workers from silica exposure and provides medical exams to monitor highly exposed workers.

Employers can apply 1 of 3 options for compliance: Option 1 Specified Exposure Control method provided in Table 1 of the standard or Alternate Exposure Control methods options 2 and 3 which both require workers' exposure to silica to be below the Permissible Exposure Limit.

METHODS OF COMPLIANCE

  • OPTION1
  • Specified Exposure Control Methods: For each employee engaged in a task identified on Table 1, the employer shall fully and properly implement the engineering controls, work practices, and respiratory protection specified for the task on Table 1.
  •  
  • Alternative Exposure Control Methods: For tasks not listed in Table 1, or where the employer does not fully and properly implement the engineering controls, work practices, and respiratory protection described in Table 1.
  • OPTION2
  • Performance option: The employer shall assess the 8-hour Time-Weighted Average (TWA) exposure for each employee on the basis of any combination of air monitoring data or objective data sufficient to accurately characterize employee exposures to respirable crystalline silica.
  • OPTION3
  • Scheduled Self-Monitoring: If a control method is not listed on Table 1 and no objective data is available, OSHA requires employers implement a monitoring program to show that the employees have exposure levels below the PEL. The employer shall perform initial monitoring to assess the 8-hour TWA exposure for each employee on the basis of one or more personal breathing zone air samples that reflect the exposures of employees on each shift, for each job classification, in each work area.

SPECIFIED EXPOSURE CONTROL METHOD

Table 1 identifies 18 common construction tasks that generate high exposures to respirable crystalline silica and for each task, specifies engineering controls, work practices and respiratory protection that effectively protect workers.

Employers who fully and properly implement the controls and practices specified in Table 1 ARE NOT REQUIRED to measure silica exposure to verify that levels are at or below the PEL for workers engaged in the Table 1 task.

Key Requirements

  • Use commercially available water delivery system or dust shroud
  • Operate and maintain tool in accordance with manufacturer's instructions to minimize dust emissions
  • Dust collector must have a filter with 99% or greater efficiency and a filter-cleaning mechanism
  • Where applicable, Respiratory equipment may be required under certain conditions
  • Dust collector must provide 25 CFM or greater of airflow per inch of wheel diameter

OBJECTIVE TEST DATA

Employer may rely on objective data from the manufacturer, providing evidence the exposure level is below the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of ≥ 50 averaged over an 8 hour work day when a task is performed, under the tested conditions.

Makita performed testing to determine the operator's exposure level to respirable crystalline silica dust. The purpose of the test was to produce “objective data” required for compliance under the exposure assessment option of OSHA respirable crystalline silica standard, 29 CFR 1926.1153(d)(2)(ii) when the task is performed under the same conditions tested by Makita.

  • Objective Test Data for Concrete Drilling with XRH03Z, XRH04Z, XRH06Z, RH01, HR2475 and HR2811F (PDF)
  • DOWNLOAD
  • Objective Test Data for Concrete Drilling with XRH011TX, XRH05Z, HR2641, HR2651 and HR2661 (PDF)
  • DOWNLOAD
  • Objective Test Data for Concrete Surfacing/Grinding with VC4710, using GA7011C, GA7040S and GA9040S (PDF)
  • DOWNLOAD

ADDITIONAL REFERENCES

Makita OSHA Silica Compliance Catalog

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Makita OSHA Silica Compliance Summary Flyer

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OSHA REFERENCES