In June 2018, the Occupational, Safety and Health Administration began enforcing a new rule regarding silica exposure for general industry, which includes precast concrete manufacturing facilities. Now, OSHA is including the rule in its National Emphasis Program, meaning states will be targeting this rule as a point of enforcement.
NPCA has developed numerous resources that address OSHA’s silica rule so you have the tools to ensure your precast concrete plant is in compliance. In addition, NPCA and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute produced a precast-specific silica exposure control manual that will help you implement the necessary processes so you can meet OSHA’s compliance standard.
Visit NPCA’s online shop for a digital copy. The manual is free for NPCA members.
You can learn more about the silica rule here.
The standard establishes an 8-hour, time-weighted average (TWA) permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 micrograms of silica per cubic meter (μg/m3.) and an action level (AL) of 25 μg/m³. It also requires other employee protections, like performing exposure assessments, using exposure control methods, using respiratory protection, establishing regulated areas, developing and implementing a written exposure control plan, offering medical surveillance, developing hazard communication information and keeping silica-related records.
An employer can claim exclusion from the standard if they can meet certain conditions outlined in the rule.
If you have not investigated the rule and how it affects your plant, it is critical to do so before OSHA arrives at your door. For more NPCA safety resources, visit precast.org/safety. Please contact Andi Pierce with any questions.