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OSHA Jan. 24 announced a 15-day extension of the public comment deadline for its proposed crystalline silica rulemaking, moving the deadline from Jan. 27 to Feb. 11. The extension comes in response to an error on OSHA’s public comment submission page, which was first identified by ABC and brought to OSHA’s attention.

The error suggested the public comment period for OSHA’s rulemaking was prematurely closed. The problem was also noticed by U.S. House of Representatives Workforce Protections Subcommittee Chairman Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), who Jan. 23 sent a letter to OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels asking that the agency correct the error and extend the comment period to ensure stakeholders who may have been confused by this mistake would have adequate time to submit comments. 

OSHA’s proposed rule drastically lowers the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica. The proposal also requires contractors to implement engineering controls and follow several "ancillary" provisions, such as exposure monitoring, medical surveillance and the establishment of regulated areas.  

ABC members can join hundreds of their peers who have weighed in on OSHA’s proposal by visiting the ABC Action Center by Feb. 11.