By Brad Sant, senior vice president of safety & education, ARTBA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has alerted ARTBA that it will target transportation construction sites for focused enforcement of worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The effort is being conducted through OSHA’s revised National Emphasis Program because silica exposure poses a significant health hazard, including lung disease, the agency said in its Feb. 10 letter to ARTBA.

Accompanying the letter was OSHA’s detailed instruction on how the NEP will be administered and enforced. The instruction’s appendices include a “Table 2”, which lists targeted industries in construction for the special enforcement program. Industries include, “Highway, Bridge and Street Construction”, “Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction”, “Land Subdivision” , and “Utility System Construction”, among others.

In January, ARTBA began offering free training to help employers comply with OSHA’s Silica Standard.  This transportation-construction focused course, funded by an OSHA Harwood grant, is available to ARTBA members and others in the industry who can provide a location and 20-40 workers for the 3- to 4-hour course.  For more information and/or to schedule a class, please contact ARTBA’s Robinson Vasquez at rvasquez@artba.org, or call 202.683.1030.