On March 25, 2016, OSHA published its long-awaited final ruling on the standards for respirable crystalline silica. There’s mixed reaction to the standard. One thing for sure, in order to comply, businesses will need increased monitoring and medical surveillance. Some say that the expectations are not reasonable while others say it’s long overdue.
Here’s the highlights of the 1,772 page document:
One of the big questions is, “Does the new Silica Rule Affect Me?”
If your employees are exposed to sand or dust, it might apply. The industries affected by this ruling include, construction, glass products, pottery products, concrete products, foundries, dental labs, paintings and coating, jewelry production, refractory products, refractory installation and repair, ready-mix concrete, cut stone and stone products, railroad maintenance, hydraulic fracturing for gas and ail, abrasive blasting and structural clay products.
At Emergency One, we can work with you to develop a medical surveillance program if your employees are exposed to levels above the permissible exposure limit. The rule specifies that medical surveillance is required if the employee is exposed for 30 or more days per year.
Employers must schedule initial exams within 30 days after initial assignment if they have not already had a compliant medical exam in the past three years. Compliant exam includes:
Medical exams must occur at least every three years or sooner if recommended by the physician. Within 30 days of the exam, the physician must provide a written report of the results of the exam and a written medical opinion to the employer regarding the exam and the use of respirators. The employer should maintain the records of such exams for the length of the employment plus 30 years.
You can find the full ruling here.
If you have any questions about medical surveillance and the new Silica Rule, please contact us, Emergency One at (845) 787.1400.