The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its final silica rule in the Federal Register on March 25, 2016. The rule is comprised of two standards, one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime. The final rule is effective on June 23, 2016. Start-up dates for specific provisions are set in 29 CFR 1910.1053 for general industry and maritime and in 29 CFR 1926.1153 for construction. This final rule establishes a permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica of 50 μg/m3 as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) in all industries covered by the rule. In addition to the PEL, the rule includes provisions to protect employees such as requirements for exposure assessment, methods for controlling exposure, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, hazard communication, and recordkeeping.
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