The U.S. Department of Labor recently released modified roll out dates for the new silica rule, beginning enforcement as of Sept. 23, 2017. For the first 30 days of enforcement, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will not issue citations to employers who in good faith are trying to comply with the standard but are unable to reduce exposures or meet the requirements. Instead OSHA will focus on providing compliance assistance and outreach in an effort to assist employers.
It’s recommended that employers affected by the new ruling need to be working towards implementation and should have training in place, written control exposure plan, and other components of the rule in place. Employers need to show they have been working toward implementation, but just have not completed some components yet and may need clarification from OSHA on aspects of the rule. Likely they will not accept not having paperwork done as good faith efforts towards compliance. If it is determined an employer is not working towards compliance, they may issue a citation. This enforcement/citation limit for the first 30 days may or may not apply in all states. The planned enforcement action by states that administer their own programs is fluid.
For more information, visit www.osha.gov.