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Exposure to crystalline silica: US office for occupational health releases new rules

The new regulations issued by the authorities impose an unnecessary burden on the stone branch, according to the Marble Institute of America and the Building Stone Institute. The photo shows a sculpture at the Milan cathedral.

Stone Associations call companies „to contact their legislative representatives immediately“

Workers’ exposure to crystalline silica is a worldwide topic in the stone sector. In the US the office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has now released its new rule reducing the permissible exposure level (PEL).

The rule cuts the PEL from 100 µg/m3 for an 8-hour time weighted average to 50 µg/m3. It was broken into two separate standards—one for the general and maritime (including the stone industry), and one for the construction industry.

OSHA’s Silica Rule will go into effect on June 23, 2016. Yet stone employers – as they are covered by the general and maritime industry standard – will have until June 23, 2018 (two years from the effective date) to comply.

MIA+BSI will continue working with the construction industry to perform legislative outreach for this issue. „We urge all companies to contact their legislative representatives immediately“ is said on both institutes’ webpage.

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(22.04.2016, USA: 04.22.2016)