National Roofing Legal Resource Center

OSHA delays silica regulation implementation

On April 6, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it has delayed by 90 days implementation of its regulation to dramatically reduce the permissible exposure level for silica dust on construction sites—from June 23 to Sept. 23. The regulation will require contractors to implement new engineering controls in some roofing operations to comply with the stricter limits and may require workers to use wet-cutting methods and respiratory protection. NRCA opposes the regulation because of member concerns that compliance will be infeasible and mandated engineering controls will increase fall hazards for workers. The delay comes soon after NRCA and allied groups sent a letter to the acting secretary of labor urging a one-year delay of the effective date given continuing concern that compliance with the regulation is infeasible for contractors. NRCA is pleased with the delay, as it will provide more time for ongoing efforts to determine exposure levels in roofing operations to help members ensure compliance. NRCA will continue working with agency officials to review the regulation and believes further action is possible once Secretary of Labor Nominee Alexander Acosta is approved by the Senate and takes office.


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