OSHA could enforce silica exposure limits regardless of regulation

New OSHA rules on the permitted exposure levels for respirable crystalline silica are now likely to be pushed back to 2016, if they are implemented at all.

However, the federal agency could enforce the lower standards through other avenues, at higher economic costs than anticipated.

Although proposals by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration to lower permissible crystalline silica levels are looking increasingly less likely, the federal agency may still be able to impose its lower limits, costing the industry more than a billion dollars, delegates at the 3rd Frac Sand conference in Minneapolis, US, heard this week.

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