The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new rule on silica exposure requires that all plants have a written exposure control plan on file. The detailed plan should describe the company’s approach to protecting its workers from harmful exposure to airborne silica particles.
For precast concrete plants in the United States, that plan must be in place by June 23, 2018. The compliance date for construction sites is June 23, 2017.
While the OSHA rule has been challenged in court and could be delayed, the National Precast Concrete Association and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute are proceeding on the assumption that the compliance dates will go into effect and that NPCA and PCI member companies must comply next year. The two associations partnered on the creation of an exposure control manual specifically for precast plants.
Producing a precast-specific exposure control manual for respirable crystalline silica that will meet OSHA’s compliance standards is no small task. The NPCA-PCI Silica Manual, prepared by the Law Office of Adele L. Abrams, provides an extensive exposure control and occupational health plan. The manual includes 10 sections over 644 pages.
For those looking for additional information, OSHA has an extensive website devoted to the respirable crystalline silica rule that includes background, fact sheets, frequently asked questions and other resources. The NPCA Safety, Health and Environmental Committee has also created a silica exposure bi-monthly safety program.
The exposure control manual is available on the NPCA Shop as a free download to NPCA and PCI member companies. Nonmember companies can purchase the manual by contacting NPCA.