Tag archives for silica
The newly created Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on Oversight, Federal Rights and Agency Action held today its first hearing. Witnesses described the toll on public health and safety when the regulatory process is paralyzed by powerful interests and required analyses with no proven benefits.
A construction industry trade association in British Columbia urged the province’s regulatory body to issue a proposed rule to protect silica-exposed workers. The proposal was issued this month. Where’s the U.S. equivalent of a group of high-road construction employers insisting on rules to protect workers’ health and safety?
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.