Figuring out how OSHA's recently-issued 606-page final rule on silica will affect your business may seem intimidating, but we're hoping the following three ways will make it easier for you.

  • A 2-1/2 page fact sheet on how the silica rule affects construction.
  • A nine-page collection of Frequently Asked Questions that provides basic info about silica, ways to abide by the rule, and enforcement dates.
  • A key table in the final rule that basically declares you're in compliance with the rule provided you follow certain practices.

For instance, here's what the new rule requires when you're using one of several types of saws to cut materials that can produce crystalline silica:

The presence of these measures suggests that the silica rule is unlikely to lead to as many of the paperwork violations as have occurred with the Environmental Protection Agency's lead-paint rule--violations which have prompted contractor complaints that regulators were more likely to penalize companies for failure to fill out forms than for failure to engage in safe practices.

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