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Fed-OSHA Delays Silica Standard – Will Cal/OSHA?

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced today that it is delaying by three months the effective date of the crystalline silica standard as it applies to the construction industry.  Originally scheduled to take effect June 23rd -- triggering Fed-OSHA enforcement – the date is now September 23rd. It is unknown, yet, if the reg will be withdrawn.

Cal/OSHA adopted the federal standard last year, and it too, has a June 23rd effective date. The question is, will California extend the effective date?

The construction industry here has asked Cal/OSHA to delay, but so far the agency has stuck by the deadline. Construction representatives object to federal provisions that recognize only wet methods of controlling silica-containing dust. They insist that dry methods, such as vacuum attachments on cutting equipment, are just as effective as using water to prevent dust. They also say they are just beginning to develop data that demonstrates vacuums' efficacy.

Cal/OSHA was unable to respond timely to our inquiry.




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