Starting on June 23, employers in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. must comply with new rules limiting workers' exposure to respirable crystalline silica. To prepare employers and workers, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a memorandum outlining the agency's enforcement schedule.
The new silica rule limits worker exposure to an average of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air per 8-hour shift. It also mandates that employers install engineering controls for silica in their facilities, create silica control plans and offer medical exams to employees. Over the first month of enforcement, OSHA will offer compliance assistance to employers who make a genuine effort to follow the new standard. The agency will then offer interim enforcement guidance until it issues a final compliance directive.