The Respirable Crystalline Silica in Construction standard establishes a new 8-hour time weighted average (TWA) permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 µg/m3, and an action level (AL) of 25 µg/m3. This new standard applies to all occupational exposures to respirable crystalline silica in construction work, except where employee exposure will remain below the AL of 25 µg/m3 as an 8-hour TWA under any foreseeable conditions. OSHA is enforcing all appropriate provisions of the Silica in Construction standard.
All construction employers covered by the standard are required to:
Note that the standard contains a unique, option for employers whose employees are engaged in the construction tasks listed in Table 1 at 29 CFR 1926.1153(c)(1). Table 1 contains 18 common construction tasks. Each task is matched to specific engineering and work practices. Employers who fully and properly implement the engineering controls, work practices, and respiratory protection listed in Table 1, are not required to conduct exposure assessments or otherwise comply with a PEL for employees engaged in those tasks. Table 1 contains the following eighteen (18) tasks:
If employer has not fully and properly implemented controls listed on Table 1 and/or have employees working on tasks not listed on Table 1, then it must comply with: Alternative exposure control methods at 29 CFR 1926.1153(d) which includes exposure assessments and shall ensure that no employee is exposed to an airborne concentration of respirable crystalline silica in excess the PEL of 50 μg/m3, calculated as an 8-hour TWA.
Part Number: 1926. Part Title: Safety and Health Regulations for Construction. Subpart: Z. Subpart Title: Toxic and Hazardous Substances. Standard Number: 1926.1153. Title: Respiratory Crystalline Silica. Appendix: A, B. GPO Source: e-CFR. https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=1270