New Silica FAQs for the Construction Industry

Source: AGC of America Senior Director, Safety and Health Services Kevin Cannon, CSP (703) 837-5410

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has just released a set of 53 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to provide guidance to employers and employees regarding OSHA’s respirable crystalline silica standard for construction.  Through the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC), the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) was heavily involved in the formulation of these FAQs.  The development of the FAQs stemmed from litigation filed against OSHA by numerous construction industry trade associations – including AGC – challenging the legality of OSHA’s rule.  OSHA has also agreed to issue a Request for Information (RFI) on Table 1 to revise the Table to improve its utility.  AGC will continue to look for ways to work with OSHA to improve the workability of this significant rule.

The FAQs are extensive and organized by topic.  A short introductory paragraph is included for each group of questions and answers to provide background information about the underlying regulatory requirements.  A  four-page document with some of the clarifications and a PDF version of all the FAQs has also been created.  AGC encourages its members to review all of the FAQs to assist in their compliance efforts. If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Cannon at (703)837-5410 or You can also contact Nazia Shah at (703)837-5409 or

ICI Provides Member Silica Standard Compliance Assistance

On March 26, the new OSHA standard on respirable crystalline silica went into effect in Indiana (here’s a fact sheet for a brief rundown). To help our members comply with the standard’s requirements, ICI is teaming up the Cleveland AGC of America chapter – and many other organizations around the U.S. – to share silica monitoring data through the Construction Employers Association Silica Sampling & Objective Data Program. The program allows participants to upload accredited testing data into a database, creating an exclusive depository of what OSHA describes as objective data for subscribers to share.

You could subscribe to the service on your own for an annual $500 subscription fee, OR you can take advantage of our newest member benefit – a free ICI subscription!

Who should subscribe?

All members with employees engaged in work activities that expose them to respirable crystalline silica.

What are the benefits of the program?

  • Access to a depository of industry-wide data you can use instead of conducting your own air sampling test.
  • Access to data that can assist you in the development of exposure control plans.
  • Access to SGS Galson’s free pump loan program along with customer services when you need to conduct air monitoring.
  • Five-day turnaround on test results.
  • Quarterly silica newsletter.
  • Access to a silica resource page.
  • Programming to help build a written silica program.
  • Programming to help write a written exposure plan.
  • An independent, accredited industrial hygiene laboratory reads the samples.
  • Online training for users, both on documentation and equipment utilization.
  • A “silica written program” template outlining the basics of the requirements for the OSHA Respirable silica standard (1926.1153).

How do you take advantage of this new member benefit?

We encourage you to subscribe to the program through ICI. Use the button below to go to the subscription registration page. Log in to your member profile; select one subscription; and submit your registration. You’ll receive a confirmation email. ICI will forward your subscription to the program. Once your subscription is activated, you’ll be required to submit at least one sample test into the database to gain access to the database.

Subscribe Here

OSHA Announces 30-Day Enforcement Policy for the Silica Standard in Construction

Source: AGC of America

Administrators announcing how the Agency will handle enforcement of the new silica standard for the construction industry, which takes effect on September 23, 2017.

The memorandum states that during the first 30 days of enforcement OSHA will not issue citations to contractors who are putting forth good faith efforts in their attempt to comply with the requirements of the new standard. For those contractors attempting to comply, OSHA will offer compliance assistance and outreach with a focus on full and proper implementation of the controls listed in Table 1. However, if during an inspection it appears that a contractor is not making any effort to comply with the requirements of the silica standard, OSHA’s inspection will include air monitoring for exposures and the contractors may also be considered for citations. During this time period, any proposed citations are required to be reviewed by the National Office.

The memorandum also notes that OSHA has developed interim inspection and citation guidance to be released prior to the termination of the memorandum and that a compliance directive will be issued at a later date. AGC encourages contractors who have operations in State Plans and are covered by the silica standard, to contact their Administrators to find out if the September 20 memorandum will be acknowledged.

For more information, please contact Kevin Cannon at (703)837-5410 or

Laborers Host Silica Webinar

Join the Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America on Thursday, August 11 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. (EDT) for its next webinar, “Complying with OSHA’s New Silica Standard: What You Need to Know.” Open to all LIUNA signatory contractors and affiliates, this webinar will cover the following:

  • A brief overview of the new standard
  • Compliance choices for contractors, including Table 1 and alternate options
  • Effective engineering controls for silica exposure
  • When respirators are and aren’t required in the new standard
  • Requirements related to prohibited work practices, medical surveillance, recordkeeping and training




Crystalline Silica: What You Need to Know

OSHA’s Final Rule on Crystalline Silica is now out and will go into effect soon. The construction industry needs to understand the obligations under the new standard as well as their compliance options. This webinar will provide the construction industry with background information about the new 29 CFR 1926.1153 – Respirable crystalline silica, including general information about performing construction work on silica containing materials, the historical significance of the rule, key details as to how the rule will affect construction jobsite, as well as what is necessary to comply with the final rule. Here’s a copy of the presentation to assist you with following along.


Participants in this webinar will able to:

  • Understand the history of the crystalline silica standard as well as key compliance dates.
  • Comprehend the scope and the application of the standard to construction industry.
  • Detail the compliance requirements for jobsite activities covered by the standard.


Bradford Hammock, a partner at Jackson Lewis P.C., whose practice focuses exclusively on safety and health issues, will provide information to help the construction industry understand the final OSHA silica rule.


Click here to access the webinar, and use password: CSC4.


This webinar is brought to you by the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC). The CISC is comprised of 25 construction industry trade associations representing virtually every construction trade, task and activity of the member associations. For more information, visit