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MIA - OSHA Alert

On February 18th the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Safety and Health Administration (NIOSH) issued a Hazard Alert about "Worker Exposure to Silica during Countertop Manufacturing, Finishing and Installation." NIOSH/OSHA have teamed up several times to issue Hazard Alerts to assist with the hazard education for many industries. The MIA, Natural Stone Council, and other allied associations were consulted and, for the most part, our advice and counsel was used for the final version.  A copy of report has been posted at www.marble-institute.com/silica. 

Generally the issuance of a Hazard Alert has been the precursor to an upcoming rule changes or other regulatory adjustment. 

What is the latest update on the proposed silica rule change? 

OSHA is currently in the process of analyzing the substantial comments it received (nearly 10,000 pages) on its proposed silica rule, which the agency has scheduled to take place through at least the middle of this year. In a recent meeting, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, Jordan Barab, reiterated that issuing a final silica rule by the end of the current administration was a top priority. 

The Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) has been an active participant. CISC is comprised of 25 trade associations (including the MIA and Natural Stone Council) representing virtually every aspect of the construction industry—from home building, to commercial and road construction, to heavy industrial production, to specialty trade contractors and material suppliers. The mission of the coalition is to promote healthy and safe jobsites in our industry. 

Where can I learn more about the proposed change? 

www.marble-institute.com/silica and www.osha.gov/silica 

Has anyone studied the economic impact of the proposed rule change? 

OSHA has issued some data, however, these estimates are dramatically different than an independent analysis conducted by the CISC. A two page infographic entitled "How OSHA's Silica Proposal Impacts Construction" has been produced.  This document highlights the CISC written comments on OSHA's proposal in a quick and clear manner.

Stone industry professionals are encouraged to download the information and share it with their industry colleagues and members of Congress.
 
Closing thoughts 

There is no cure for silicosis.  But with the proper equipment, training, vigilance and continual monitoring, you and your shop can be free of the most dangerous of the most occupational lung disease in the world! 

We will continue to keep you informed as information becomes available. 

Please refer to www.marble-institute.com/silica for current information and key document links.  The MIA staff is also available to assist as needed at 440-250-9222 or miainfo@marble-instiutte.com. 

Jonathan Mitnick, Chair 
MIA Safety Committee 
CCS Stone 

Dan Rea, President 
MIA Board of Directors 
Coldspring
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