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OSHA Issues Proposed Rule On Crystalline Silica

On September 12, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a proposed rule on silica exposure in the Federal Register.  The public comment period will extend to December 11, 2013, and hearings will begin on March 4, 2014.  The proposed silica rule is supported by over 800 pages of background information and scientific literature. The proposal is aimed at curbing lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney disease, and other health hazards associated with silica exposure. Employment operations and activities involved with cutting, sawing, drilling and crushing of concrete, brick, cement block and other stone products as well as operations using sand products and sand blasting are affected by the proposed standard. Employers in these industries should study the proposed rule carefully to determine the likely impact on business activities.

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