ABC and its allies in the construction industry once again cautioned OSHA that if the agency moves forward with its proposed rule to address silica exposure in the construction industry, contractors will be stuck with unnecessary regulations that are technologically and economically infeasible to implement.

In letters written to OSHA in response to testimony given during OSHA’s informal hearing in March, ABC and the ABC-led Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) reiterated industry concerns expressed throughout the rulemaking process about the negative impact OSHA’s rule would have on contractors. Both groups also again urged the agency to withdraw it. The concerns repeatedly expressed by ABC and CISC echo more than 600 comments submitted by ABC members earlier this year.

Many stakeholders in the construction industry have argued that OSHA’s failure to account for the challenging and dynamic conditions construction sites often experience –including wind, rain and cold—left many of the provisions in the proposed rule unworkable. Furthermore, a drastic downward trend in silicosis deaths over the last four decades has been cited as evidence that the current standard on silica has been working.

Before OSHA can finalize its rule, it must analyze and respond to all comments and data received from the public. This process is expected to take a significant amount of time.