New York Businesses Prepare to Comply with OSHA’s New Final Rule on Respirable Crystalline Silica
VOETS, LLC provides monitoring and consulting services to protect workers and the public from respirable crystalline silica.
This, and all OSHA regulations, is not only a legal requirement, but more importantly, imperative to the health and safety of workers.
As far back as the 1930s, the U.S. Department of Labor first highlighted the hazards associated with exposure to respirable crystalline silica after a wave of worker deaths. The agency set standards to limit worker exposure in 1971 when the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) was created.
According to OSHA, approximately 2.3 million workers in the United States are still exposed to respirable crystalline silica in their workplace. This includes 2 million construction workers who drill, cut, crush, or grind silica-containing materials such as concrete and stone, and 300,000 workers in general industry operations.
In response, OSHA issued a final rule in March of this year to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease in America’s workers by further limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule is comprised of two standards, one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime. OSHA estimates that the rule will save over 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year, once its effects are fully realized. It is projected to annually provide net benefits of about $7.7 billion.
“One of the key provisions of the new final rule reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift,” said Michael Berrevoets, President, VOETS, LLC. “This is a dramatic reduction from the former PEL and companies need to take note now to be prepared to comply with these new limits. Employers will also be required to use engineering controls to limit worker exposure; provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure; limit worker access to high exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan and train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures. This, and all OSHA regulations, is not only a legal requirement, but more importantly, imperative to the health and safety of workers.”
VOETS offers industrial hygiene services to help companies comply with crystalline silica regulations to protect workers and the public. They provide exposure assessments and area monitoring in addition to assessing engineering controls and training for this and other exposure risks.
To learn more about VOETS and their crystalline silica, air quality, environmental, health, safety, or occupational testing and consulting services, please visit www.VOETS.nyc, email michael@VOETS.nyc, or call (212) 860-7450.
About Verification, Operations, and Environmental Testing Services (VOETS, LLC)
VOETS, LLC began operations in 2016 with some of the most seasoned professional indoor environmental quality consultants in the nation. They bring a proven track record of identifying and resolving a wide range of building science, industrial hygiene, and construction health and safety issues. VOETS offers environmental compliance, indoor air quality, mold, asbestos, lead-based paint, Legionella, environmental site assessments (ESAs), training, and industrial hygiene consulting services. The company specializes in field investigations and assessments of commercial, institutional, healthcare, and residential buildings throughout New York City and the tri-state area.
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