If your employees are exposed to respirable crystalline silica, be aware — you’ll want to ensure that your safety program is in compliance with the OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard.
Years after the OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for general industry and maritime (29 CFR 1910.1053) and construction (29 CFR 1926.1153) took effect, the agency has issued a revised National Emphasis Program (NEP) in 2020.
Here’s a review of what the NEP is and how your business can prepare for compliance and inspection.
The recently issued NEP clarifies and updates 2016 OSHA guidelines that lowered permissible exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) for general industry, maritime and construction.
On Feb. 4, 2020, OSHA issued a revised NEP to identify and reduce or eliminate worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica in general industry, maritime and construction. The NEP targets specific industries expected to have the highest exposures to silica and focuses on enforcement of the new silica standards.
The former NEP for respirable crystalline silica was released in 2008 and was later canceled in 2017. The following changes were made to the 2020 NEP:
Before starting inspections, OSHA will conduct 90 days of compliance assistance for stakeholders.
OSHA is set to begin inspections under the NEP on May 5, 2020. If your business is in a targeted industry, you must ensure you are in compliance with the OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard and prepare for possible inspection. The OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard requires employers to:
Don’t forget that we have industrial hygienists on staff who can assess employee exposure to RCS at your job site. We also offer complimentary J.J.Keller training materials specific to crystalline silica for general industry and construction.
The Center for Construction Research and Training offers an online tool to create your own written exposure control plan. The site also contains training resources for hazard recognition, manuals and guides, presentations, toolbox talks, fact sheets, handouts, and videos.
For more information on protecting your employees from the hazards of respirable crystalline silica at your worksite, please contact us at email@example.com.