MCAA Silica Task Force Makes Great Progress
The Silica Task Force met again last week in Washington and continued to make great strides in its efforts to put together a set of alternatives to OSHA's draft proposed standard on silica exposure by the end of October.
During the course of the meetings, the Task Force finalized its mission statement, reviewed an analysis of the silica exposure data on hand and began writing the task-based solutions to limit jobsite exposures to crystalline silica in the construction industry. The group also agreed that it should take advantage of an offer from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to perform a peer review of exposure testing data and offer technical advice on the testing protocol.
Now that the Task Force has begun writing its own set of task-based solutions which it believes will limit or prevent jobsite exposures to silica, it must have exposure testing data for each task to prove that what it is recommending actually works. I'm pleased to report that numerous contractors have either volunteered to have testing done or provided results from previous analyses. If there are any other members of MCAA who have existing data you'd like to share or might be willing to have testing done, please let me know as soon as possible.
If the Task Force is to be successful in completing its mission of convincing OSHA that our industry is capable of self-regulating, using our own set of control options - engineering, administrative and personal protective equipment - we need your help in supplying data. And we need it now. As John Henshaw has told me many times, we have an opportunity to "put the silica issue to bed" and he'd like to do it on his watch, preferably before next January. I can assure you MCAA will do everything it possibly can to finalize the work of the Task Force in that time frame.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-671-4468.
About the Author
Marian J. Marshall was the Director of Government Affairs for the Mason Contractors Association of America.