OSHA releases resources for compliance with crystalline silica rule Email
Monday, November 21, 2016 05:00 AM

OSHA releases guide regarding silica dustLast week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released a Small Entity Compliance Guide for Construction for the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard. According to OSHA, “the guide is intended to help small business employers comply with the rule by explaining each requirement in easy-to-understand language.”

The 103-page guide helps small businesses understand how to comply with the revised standard, which is designed to limit worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica and prevent silicosis. Each paragraph of the standard is addressed, beginning with a “roadmap” worksheet to guide employers as they build a plan. Additionally, the guide offers information about communication of hazards and required recordkeeping.  

More detailed assistance for creating a plan can be found at www.silica-safe.org, where employers can download handouts or access scripts to use with training about the rule. There is also guidance on communicating with employees about the rule and training them on proper safety regarding silica dust.

Another compliance tool is OSHA's On-site Consultation Program. The program offers free and confidential safety and occupational health advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs. In Colorado those consultations are conducted through Colorado State University's Health & Safety Consultation Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Services.

Enforcement of the final rule in construction is due to begin June 23, 2017. Landscape companies should begin now to evaluate their worksites, develop a plan, and make necessary adjustments to work practices and equipment.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
Colorado landscape companies recognized nationally for safety
Revised Form I-9 now available
PlantTalk Colorado discusses Japanese beetles
ProGreen EXPO continues to explore water issues in 2017