OSHA’s proposed silica rule a serious concern
Rule a serious concern for construction industry according to MCAA
A coalition of construction industry groups is concerned about a proposed rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that’s intended to protect workers from inhaling dust containing silica, created by activities such as cutting brick or block, and sawing, grinding or drilling concrete.
“The MCAA is very concerned about the safety and well being of our workforce. So much so that we led an effort to develop a standard on workplace silica six years ago which implements some of what this standard calls for. There are however, serious concerns with the reduction of the PEL. From 1968 -2007 the incidence of silicosis has been reduced by 93%. We have serious doubts that a further reduction of the PEL will impact those numbers said Jeff Buczkiewicz, President, MCAA. John Smith, current MCAA Chairman added, “Our jobsites are very different than a factory setting. Conditions on our sites can change instantly. If the wind changes speed or direction it can impact monitoring of silica exposure. “
Announced Aug. 23 in a press conference that laid out few details, the proposed rule seems to call for one-size-fits-all measures that contradict existing safety and quality assurance practices for different types of contractors.
Independent studies have estimated costs for construction industry compliance will well exceed $1 billion per year.
MCAA is part of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, which is seeking a feasible and cost-effective crystalline silica regulation that improves safety and health protection measures for workers. The coalition represents thousands of employers working to protect hundreds of thousands of workers in home building, road repair, heavy industrial production, specialty trades and materials supply.
It was formed to encourage OSHA to develop better choices for compliance with the construction-specific silica rule: alternatives that also address costs, consistency with existing federal regulations and do not overly burden small businesses.
Construction Industry Safety Coalition members include:
- Associated Builder and Contractors (ABC)
- Associated General Contractors (AGC)
- Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry (AWCI)
- American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)
- American Subcontractors Association (ASA)
- International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (ICE)
- Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA)
- Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCA)
- National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)
- National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA)
About the Author
Jeff Buczkiewicz is the President and CEO of the Mason Contractors Association of America. Jeff has worked in the masonry industry for several years as the Executive Vice President of the Building Stone Institute and the Director of Marketing and Membership for the Mason Contractors Association of America. Jeff has also served as Secretary on the Board of the Natural Stone Council and is a former Board Member of the StonExpo Federation.