Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposes to amend its existing standards for occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The basis for issuance of this proposal is a preliminary determination by the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health that employees exposed to respirable crystalline silica face a significant risk to their health at the current permissible exposure limits and that promulgating these proposed standards will substantially reduce that risk. This document proposes a new permissible exposure limit, calculated as an 8-hour time-weighted average, of 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air (50 [mu]g/m\3\). OSHA also proposes other ancillary provisions for employee protection such as preferred methods for controlling exposure, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, hazard communication, and recordkeeping. OSHA is proposing two separate regulatory textsone for general industry and maritime, and the other for constructionin order to tailor requirements to the circumstances found in these sectors.