New Silica Rules in Effect 9/23

Additional requirements for Respirable Crystalline Silica added to Construction Safety Order (CSO)1530.1.  Applies to all construction occupational exposures to respirable crystalline silica, except where employee exposure is below 25 micrograms per cubic meter of air as an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA).  This addition aligns with new Federal regulations.  New CSO Section 1532.3 had been delayed, and now takes effect September 23. Here are a few very general requirements in 1532.3:

  • Specific exposure control methods for identified equipment/tasks.  For example: equipment must have integrated water delivery systems, dust collection systems, shrouds/cowling.  There are specifics for outdoor and indoor operations.
  • Assess exposure using specific processes. When exposure is above the PEL, the employer must do written corrective action plan.  Observation of exposure monitoring must be allowed for employees or their designated representatives.
  • Written exposure control plan with identified respirable silica tasks and the controls for each. A competent person will be designated to make frequent inspections and implement the plan.  The plan must be evaluated at least annually and be available to employees or their designated representatives.
  • Specific medical surveillance must be available at no cost to employees who will be required to use a respirator for 30 or more days a year.
  • Employee hazard communication and training.
  • And, of course, detailed recordkeeping of … everything.

See the regulations here: http://dir.ca.gov/Title8/1532_3.html.   For background on this change, see www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/Respirable-Crystalline-Silica-HORCHER.html.

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