Construction industry voices concerns with silica rule
Final rule contains some of the same problematic provisions
The Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) has concerns with the final rule on respirable crystalline silica released today by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It appears, upon initial review, that the 1,772-page final rule contains some of the same problematic provisions that the CISC previously identified and shared with the agency. CISC has been a highly engaged participant in the rulemaking process since OSHA put forth the proposed rule two and a half years ago.
“NAHB has long advocated the importance of the rule being both technologically and economically feasible,” said Ed Brady, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill. “While we’re still reviewing the final rule, we’re concerned that it may not adequately address these issues and take into consideration real-world application.”
“The construction industry submitted hundreds of pages of comments in response to OSHA’s proposal, as we review the final rule we will see whether OSHA has taken these comments into account in developing a standard that is workable,” said ABC Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck. “Associated Builders and Contractors will remain an engaged stakeholder with OSHA in developing viable standards that will promote healthy and safe construction job sites.”
“Instead of crafting a new standard that the construction industry can comply with, administration officials have instead opted to set a new standard that is well beyond the capabilities of current air filtration and dust removal technologies,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America. “Our concern is that this new rule will do little to improve workplace health and safety, which is why we will continue our review of the new measure, consult with our members and decide on a future course of action that will best serve the health and safety of millions of construction workers across the country.”
“At first glance, we have observed that a number of provisions that concerned us in the proposed rule have been left in the final rule. This makes us continue to question the final rule’s technological and economic feasibility for the construction industry. In addition, OSHA has added several new provisions not in the proposed rule that we have not had a chance to thoroughly review and consider the impacts. Once we complete our review we will be able to be more specific about what was released today,” said Jeff Buczkiewicz, president of the Mason Contractors Association of America.
The members of the CISC include: The American Road and Transportation Builders Association, American Society of Concrete Contractors, American Subcontractors Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors, Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Building Stone Institute, Concrete Sawing & Drilling Association, Construction & Demolition Recycling Association, Distribution Contractors Association, Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Leading Builders of America, Marble Institute of America, Mason Contractors Association of America, Mechanical Contractors Association of America, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of the Remodeling Industry, National Demolition Association, National Electrical Contractors Association, National Roofing Contractors Association, National Utility Contractors Association, Natural Stone Council, The Association of Union Constructors and the Tile Roofing Institute.
About the Authors
Liz Thompson is the Media Relations Manager for the National Association of Home Builders.
Jeff Leieritz is the Media Relations Manager at Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.
Brian Turmail is the Executive Director of Public Affairs at Associated General Contractors of America.
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.