Later on in June, one of OSHA’s two brand new final rules for 2016 go into effect. Whenever OSHA publishes a final rule, it’s important for companies to be informed. Not only because employers are expected to comply with the applicable regulations, but also to be aware of potential hazards that could harm employees.
These two new final rules are both applicable to the construction industry, so it’s important for us to take note.
The long-awaited final ruling on Silica dust inhalation is set to take effect on June 23rd, 2016. Silica dust inhalation is known to cause a variety of illnesses such as silicosis, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease. The new rule is comprised of two standards; one for the Construction Industry, and one for the General Industry and Maritime. The main reason behind this new ruling is to limit employee exposure to inhaling crystalline silica.
Here’s a summary of the key components of the new Silica Ruling and how it affects the Construction Industry:
- Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift.
- Requires employers to:
- use engineering controls (such as water or ventilation) to limit worker exposure to the PEL
- provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure
- limit worker access to high exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan
- offer medical exams to highly exposed workers and gives them information about their lung health
- and train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures
- Provides flexibility to help employers, especially small businesses, protect workers from silica exposure.
EYE AND FACE PROTECTION
The other final OSHA ruling put in place for 2016 has to do do with employee eye and face protection when on the job, and went into effect on April 25th, 2016. The main reason behind this ruling is to update the references to the most recent national consensus standards (ANSI/ISEA). This change affects General Industry, Construction, Shipyards, Longshoring, and Marine Terminals.
Here’s a summary of the key components of the new Eye and Face Protection Ruling and how it affects the Construction Industry:
- Recognizes the ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, while deleting the outdated 1986 edition of that same national consensus standard.
- The 2003 and 1989 (R-1998) versions of the ANSI standard already referenced in the standard will be retained.
- Updates the construction standard by deleting the 1968 version of the ANSI standard that was referenced and now includes the same three ANSI standards referenced above to ensure consistency among the agency’s standards.
In addition to these new rules, OSHA is also looking into a few other regulatory changes that impact the following:
- Slips, Trips, and Fall Prevention
- Tracking of Workplace Injuries
- Exposure to Beryllium
- Bloodborne Pathogen Standards
- Chemical Management and Permissible Exposure Limits
If you’re looking to start a new commercial or residential construction project, renovation, or just curious about what we offer at Baratto Brothers, contact us today by filling out our contact form, stopping in to say hello, or by giving us a call at (218) 692-1070. We’re here to help you sift through your options, and come up with an affordable plan that delivers the results you’re looking for. We’ll do everything we can to become your Builder for Life.