Regulations & Requirements
Status of Regulatory Efforts
The following is a brief chronology of silica-related regulatory efforts since the early 1990s:
- 1994 and 1995 -- OSHA lists silica as a priority for rulemaking
- May 1996 -- OSHA creates a Special Emphasis Program to Prevent Silica Exposure
- 1996 -- the World Health Organization – International Agency on Cancer Research (IARC) first classified silica as a known human carcinogen
- 1997 -- the first time Silica is listed on OSHA’s Regulatory Agenda. Silica continued to be listed as a priority in subsequent years
- October 1998 -- OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) forms a Silica Work Group
- June/July/ September 1999 -- OSHA holds Stakeholders’ Meetings on silica
- October/November 2000 -- OSHA holds Stakeholders’ Meetings on silica
- December 2003 -- OSHA submits a draft silica standard to a Small Business Regulatory Fairness Enforcement Act (SBREFA) panel for review
- December 2004 -- New Jersey’s governor signs a law that prohibits the dry cutting and dry grinding of masonry
- September 2008 -- CalOSHA issues standard: “Control of Employee Exposures from Dust-Generating Operations Conducted on Concrete or Masonry Materials”
- 2009 -- IARC reaffirmed its position on silica as a carcinogen
- February 14, 2011 -- OSHA submits a draft proposed silica standard to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under Executive Order 12866. The OMB review is required to be completed within 120 days
- April 19, 2012 -- the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions holds a full committee hearing – “Time Takes Its Toll: Delays in OSHA’s Standard Setting Process and the Impact on Worker Safety”
- February 27, 2013 -- Top Democratic lawmakers on the House and Senate worker panels sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget urging release of the proposed Occupational Safety and Health Administration silica standard
- March 12 and 18, 2013 -- the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review continues. March 2013, OMB holds first meetings in 19 months on silica. Click here for an update on the OMB’s activities.
- May 7, 2013 -- The Chairman of The Judiciary Subcommittee On Oversight, Federal Rights, and Agency Action sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) "urging the federal agency to end serious delays in reviewing proposed regulations and guidelines intended to protect workers from inhaling silica dust..."
- June 5, 2013 -- A group of Senate and House Democrats sent a letter urging OMB's Director to take "prompt action" to expedite the rulemaking process on silica and other pending issues noting: "Delays exceeding 90 days include ... the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) proposed rule to protect workers from cancer-causing silica dust. OSHA's preliminary analysis indicates that the silica rule would prevent approximately 60 deaths per year from lung cancer and silicosis..."
- July 3, 2013 -- Silica is listed on OSHA's Regulatory Agenda indicating that the proposed rule will be released in July 2013
- August 23, 2013 -- U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA announces proposed rule to protect workers exposed to crystalline silica after the OMB concluded their review -- see the press release. For more information, see Status of Regulatory Efforts: OSHA Rulemaking Information.
- September 12, 2013 -- OSHA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for respirable crystalline silica. This is followed by 5 months of time for public comments.
- March 18 – April 4, 2014 -- OSHA holds 3 weeks of public hearings where labor advocates, health experts, and industry groups testified on the proposed standard. This was followed by two and a half months for public submission of post-hearing comments.
- 2014 – 2015 -- OSHA reviews the testimony, comments and record evidence submitted by the public, drafts the final standard and prepares the final economic and regulatory anlaysis.
- December 21, 2015 -- OSHA submits the final silica standard to the OMB for review under Executive Order 12866.
- March 21, 2016 -- The OMB concludes their review of the final silica standard.
- March 24, 2016 -- OSHA announces final rule to protect workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica -- see press release and information on the final rule.