On Oct. 25, OSHA announced a 47-day extension of the public comment deadline for OSHA’s proposed crystalline silica rulemaking, extending the deadline from Dec. 11 to Jan. 27. More than 25 business organizations, including ABC, the Construction Industry Safety Coalition and others in the industry, requested additional time for stakeholders to appropriately analyze OSHA’s proposal, develop useful data and provide meaningful feedback. Also requesting extensions were the U.S. House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee and Small Business Committee and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. Most requests, including ABC’s, asked for 90 days. 

In addition, OSHA extended the deadline to submit notices of intention to appear at public hearings, from Nov. 12 to Dec. 12. The agency also postponed the public hearings by 14 days, to March 18, 2014.

“OSHA received numerous extension requests from a diverse range of industries, and nearly all the requests asked for an additional 90 days, so it is disappointing and puzzling that the agency did not grant the consensus amount,” said Sean Thurman, Director of Legislative Affairs at ABC National. “We would have also preferred separate public hearings for construction and general industry, and additional hearing venues outside of DC. However, any additional time is valuable to our industry as we move forward in this rulemaking.”