On Tuesday, September 20, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a memorandum to OSHA Regional Administrators announcing how the Agency will handle enforcement of the new silica standard for the construction industry, which took effect on September 23, 2017.
The memorandum states that during the first 30 days of enforcement OSHA will not issue citations to contractors who are putting forth good faith efforts in their attempt to comply with the requirements of the new standard. For those contractors attempting to comply, OSHA will offer compliance assistance and outreach with a focus on full and proper implementation of the controls listed in Table 1. However, if during an inspection it appears that a contractor is not making any effort to comply with the requirements of the silica standard, OSHA’s inspection will include air monitoring for exposures and the contractors may also be considered for citations. During this time period, any proposed citations are required to be reviewed by the National Office.
The memorandum also notes that OSHA has developed interim inspection and citation guidance to be released prior to the termination of the memorandum and that a compliance directive will be issued at a later date. AGC encourages contractors who have operations in State Plans and are covered by the silica standard to contact their Administrators to find out if the September 20 memorandum will be acknowledged.