July 19, 2018

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OSHA Announces Enforcement Policy for Construction Silica Standard

In a memorandum issued today from Thomas Galassi to OSHA Regional Administrators, OSHA has announced how it will handle enforcement of the new Silica Standard for the construction industry, which takes effect on September 23, 2017.

For the first 30 days of enforcement OSHA will not issue citations to those employers who, in good faith, are trying to comply with the requirements of the standard but are unable to reduce exposures below the new permissible exposure limit or are unable to fully comply with Table 1.  Instead, for those employers, OSHA will offer “compliance assistance and outreach” to help employers with “understanding and compliance” of the new standard.  Specifically, “OSHA will pay particular attention to assisting employers in fully and properly implementing the controls in the table.”

If during an OSHA inspection it appears that a particular employer is not making any efforts to comply with the standard, OSHA will conduct air monitoring and possible citations may be issued.

Additionally, the memorandum notes that OSHA will soon be issuing inspection and citation guidance for its compliance officers and that a compliance directive will follow.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2018


About this Author

Tressi Cordaro, Occupational safety health attorney, Jackson Lewis, enforcement agency lawyer, labor litigation legal counsel

Tressi L. Cordaro is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She advises and represents employers on occupational safety and health matters before federal and state OSHA enforcement agencies.

Ms. Cordaro has advised employers faced with willful and serious citations as the result of catastrophic events and fatalities, including citations involving multi-million dollar penalties. Ms. Cordaro’s approach to representing an employer cited by OSHA is to seek an efficient resolution of contested...