OBERLIN, Ohio & CHESTERTOWN, N.Y. – A guideline for dealing with upcoming changes in crystalline-silica exposure is now available from the Natural Stone Institute.

293 NSIThe Silica Exposure Control Plan (ECP) is designed specifically for stone cutters and fabricators. The ECP was developed in response to one of the requirements of the revised Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard CFR 1910.1053 for General Industry and Maritime from the federal Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA).

“We believe we have developed a practical compliance tool to benefit stone cutters and fabricators covered by OSHA’s new silica rule,” said Mark Meriaux, Natural Stone Institute Accreditation & Technical Manager.

The central component of OSHA’s rule is reducing by half an employee’s crystalline silica exposure (called the “Permissible Exposure Limit, or PEL,” by OSHA). The new PEL is 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air (50 µg/m³), calculated as eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA). The effective date for OSHA’s new silica exposure standard is June 23, 2018, for general industry (fabricators). 

The ECP offers a written template that details the steps needed for compliance with the silica rule, and details various responsibilities and possible areas of concern and action.

The written Silica Exposure Control Plan is presented free of charge courtesy of the Natural Stone Institute Safety Committee. It can be downloaded by visiting www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/silica

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