In a memorandum issued today from Thomas Galassi, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary to OSHA Regional Administrators, OSHA has announced how it will handle enforcement of the new Silica Standard for the construction industry, which takes effect on September 23, 2017.
For the first 30 days of enforcement OSHA will not issue citations to those employers who, in good faith, are trying to comply with the requirements of the standard but are unable to reduce exposures below the new permissible exposure limit or are unable to fully comply with Table 1. Instead, for those employers, OSHA will offer “compliance assistance and outreach” to help employers with “understanding and compliance” of the new standard. Specifically, “OSHA will pay particular attention to assisting employers in fully and properly implementing the controls in the table.”
If during an OSHA inspection it appears that a particular employer is not making any efforts to comply with the standard, OSHA will conduct air monitoring and possible citations may be issued.
Additionally, the memorandum notes that OSHA will soon be issuing inspection and citation guidance for its compliance officers and that a compliance directive will follow.