Avoid the harmful effects of chemical vapors and damaging particulates with our respiratory protection masks. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration, an estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces throughout the United States.
OSHA has released its final rule on exposure to Silica. The highlights are below along with updates from our key suppliers. The key is the significant lower exposure limit which will require many more works to wear respirators.
The new permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica - 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air averaged during an 8-hour shift. OSHA's new PEL is half the previous limit for general industry and 5 times lower than the previous limit for construction. OSHA presents the rule as two standards - one for general industry and maritime and the other for construction.
Both standards are scheduled to go into effect on June 23, 2016. Industries will then have one to five years to meet most requirements. The construction industry must comply by June 23, 2017; general industry, maritime and hydraulic fracturing must adhere to requirements by June 23, 2018; and hydraulic fracturing will have until June 23, 2021, to comply for engineering controls. The extended time allows employers to provide medical exams to some workers, and gives hydraulic fracturing employers the opportunity to implement dust controls for the new PEL, OSHA states.