Tag archives for silica
Spring 2013 looked like it would be a banner season for progress by the Obama Administration on new worker safety regulations; not so much anymore.
Since the White House Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) began reviewing the Labor Department’s proposed rule to reduce by one-half the permissible workplace exposure to respirable crystalline silica more than two year ago, the US has seen a dramatic increase in industrial sand mining, a major route of workers’ exposure to silica dust. Industry groups claim the more-protective standard would be too expensive.
Representatives of U.S. foundries met with White House officials behind closed doors to complain about a not-yet-proposed OSHA regulation. It was the group’s second such meeting. But they wouldn’t be necessary if the White House would simply allow OSHA’s public hearing process to take place.
The White House’s two-year delay of OSHA’s proposed silica rule attracted media attention; West Virginia’s Governor orders mines to undertake a “safety stand-down” after a series of mineworker deaths; and a warming climate will necessitate stricter limits on outdoor work.
With five days left in calendar year 2012, the Obama Administration released its current regulatory plan and agenda, including new rules addressing health and safety hazards in workplaces. Neither OSHA nor MSHA have a good track record predicting when such rules will actually be completed.
Many months have passed since the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sent to the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) a draft proposed regulation designed to protect workers who are exposed to respirable crystalline silica. (Re-post)
In our new report “The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety,” we devote one section to key activities by the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress.
Revealing the location of the hydrofracking operations where the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found levels of respirable silica at 10-100 times above the recommended safety limits is important to the health of those who have worked at those sites or others like them.
While investigative reporters are exposing the plague of black lung disease in U.S. coal miners, the best Members of Congress are willing to do is ask for a postage stamp commemorating the American Coal Miner.
To understand the current boom in frack sand mining, the place to look is Wisconsin. What’s happening in Wisconsin also shows how limited current information is regarding potential air quality and environmental health effects this industrial activity, which is a source of silica dust – a known human health hazard.