By Brad Sant, ARTBA senior vice president

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) April 6 announced a delay in the enforcement of the recently revised silica rule for the construction industry.  The compliance date was moved from June 23 to September 23, 2017.  In a news release, OSHA said, “The agency has determined that additional guidance is necessary due to the unique nature of the requirements in the construction standard.”   ARTBA has been working both individually and as a founding member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) to ensure the Silica Standard is workable for the construction industry.

The CISC issued a statement stating, “[we are] pleased that OSHA has recognized the need to develop guidance material for the construction industry before enforcing the silica rule, and we remain committed to working with the agency to create a feasible standard that promotes safe and healthy jobsites.  While the CISC appreciates the 90-day delay in enforcement, the CISC remains concerned about the overall feasibility of the standard in construction and has requested that the Agency delay enforcement for a year.”

ARTBA will work with OSHA officials as they develop guidance materials and training for compliance officers to help ensure they are relevant to the transportation construction industry. Nevertheless, ARTBA will also continue to press for a further delay in enforcement and carry on its legal challenge to ensure a number of unworkable provisions are changed.