Criteria for updating the crystalline silica pel
Since then, the economy and the state of the metalcasting industry has changed dramatically.
A study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on the ability of affected industries, particularly small businesses, to comply with the new standard.
It is essential for manufacturing, particularly for metalcasting, construction, brick making, and oil and natural gas. The new rule reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift—half the current maximum for general industry.
Silica (quartz) is one of the most common minerals on earth and found in countless products. metalcasting industry uses millions of tons of silica sand per year in the production of metal castings.
To achieve this clean room level of exposure, metalcasters will have to minimize sweeping and compressed air (dust from a compressed air gun may stay suspended for days), incorporate thorough cleanings, limit traffic, pay close attention to sand spills and leaks, and incorporate other environmental controls.
Metalcasting facilities also will have to dedicate resources for exposure assessment, which will include sampling, recordkeeping and supplying information to medical practitioners.
Part of the legal challenge will include the following key issues: Whether OSHA’s determination to set a PEL for respirable crystalline silica of 50 µg/m3 measured as an eight-hour time weighted average for all of general industry in its “Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica” standard (81 Fed. 16286 (March 25, 2016) meets the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U. Whether OSHA’s determination to set an action level of 25 µg/m3 measured as an eight-hour time weighted average for all of general industry in the standard meets the requirements of the OSH Act, is adequately justified, and is supported by substantial evidence in the rulemaking record.
Whether OSHA relied on the best available evidence in determining that a PEL of 50 µg/m3 for general industry is technologically and economically feasible.
For example, in the standard, OSHA estimated incorporating a HEPA vacuum to remove dust with a 15-gallon vacuum, the size of a shop vac at a ,633 initial cost.
In April, AFS and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), numerous industry trade groups, and labor unions, filed legal challenges to the rule’s validity in several circuit courts across the country. Separately, North America’s Building Trades Unions argued that the medical testing provisions can be improved in their petition. In June, the court likely will issue briefing notices, at which point the petitioners will have the opportunity to file briefs. Oral arguments will be heard most likely later this year.
The petitions have now been consolidated into the U. A court decision could be made 3-6 months after oral arguments, well into 2017.
Whether OSHA ignored evidence of exposure variability in general industry in finding that a PEL of 50 µg/m3 measured is technologically and economically feasible.
Whether OSHA’s reliance on the hierarchy of controls (i.e., its stated preference for engineering controls and workpractice controls before the use of respiratory protection) for general industry is adequately justified and based on substantial evidence.