OSHA said it is extending the comment period for its proposed silica standard, citing an error on the federal government’s regulations.gov website.
OSHA has extended the deadline from Jan. 27 to Feb. 11. Public hearings on the proposed silica rule are scheduled to begin on March 18 in Washington, D.C.
To submit comments on regulations.gov, click on the “Comment Now!” button on the right side of the page.
On Aug. 23, OSHA unveiled a proposed rule that would cut the permissible exposure limit in general industry, construction and shipyards to 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air.
OSHA estimates that 2.2 million workers – most of them in construction – are exposed to silica dust on the job. The agency says its proposed rule would save nearly 700 lives and prevent 1,600 new cases of silicosis per year.
A number of construction-industry trade groups have pushed OSHA to extend the deadline for public comments. The proposal was published in the Sept. 12 Federal Register, and the initial comment deadline was Dec. 11.