By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory affairs & assistant general counsel, ARTBA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standards for silica exposure are based on flawed science and unrealistic assumptions about the construction industry, ARTBA and 32 other trade associations say in a new federal court brief, which asks to void the March 2016 rule.

ARTBA has consistently maintained that OSHA’s standard could divert significant resources—human and financial—away from activities aimed at mitigating, if not eliminating, documented, serious hazards to workers’ health and safety.

In a Nov. 18 brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the industry groups characterize OHSA’s rule as “a solution in search of a problem.” It further notes, “OSHA’s findings regarding economic feasibility in construction also suffer from imaginary assumptions that make no sense in real life.”

OSHA’s reply is due in three months, with the briefing phase of the lawsuit expected to conclude March 23, 2017. Read more background on the case, and please contact me if you have any questions.