OSHA Begins Enforcement of
Controversial Crystalline Silica Rule
he Occupational Safety and trols, offer medical exams and develop save over 600 lives and prevent more
Health Administration (OSHA) control plans related to the issue.
began the enforcement of its con- Several construction coalitions ﬁled year, once its effects are fully realized.
troversial crystalline silica standard on a petition against the rule in April 2016. The ﬁnal rule is projected to provide
September 23,after a three-month delay. The petitioning organizations noted net beneﬁts of about $7.7 billion, an-
The silica rule, which has seen push- that the industry “presented substan- nually,” says the OSHA silica website.
back from the construction and glass tial evidence that OSHA’s proposed PEL The rule was originally set to be en-
industries, has been in the works since was technologically and economically forced within the construction indus-
013 and is intended to limit workers’ infeasible” but that the agency moved try last June, but was delayed for three
exposure to respirable crystalline silica. forward with the PEL anyway. months to allow OSHA to conduct
It reduces the permissible exposure limit According to OSHA, as many as 2.3 additional outreach and provide ed-
PEL) for workers to 50 micrograms million workers, many in the construc- ucational materials and guidance for
per cubic meter of air, averaged over an tion and manufacturing industries, affected employers.
eight-hour shift, and also requires em- will be affected by the rule. Long-term exposure to respirable
ployers to implement engineering con- “OSHA estimates that the rule will crystalline silica can cause lung cancer,
than 900 new cases of silicosis each
Drug Testing Policies Become Increasingly
he opioidIempidempicoharstyaet nto tpfaoirmrentGcalusaedzbiyndruggs,Iemnpldoyeurs stCoruynty Sin aOhfioe, 1t2y5 people between
hit its peak and more states are unable to identify with accuracy the ages of 30 and 44 overdosed
are continuing to legalize med- how an employee’s drug use might af- during the ﬁrst nine months of 2016.
ical or recreational use of marijuana. fect the safety of a jobsite.
In the 45 to 60 age group, 103 people
These trends can have an effect on
the contract glazier.
“Companies need to bring their overdosed,” he says. “This shows that
drug testing policies up-to-date by this type of drug use can happen in
Dave Daquelente, executive director looking at current local, state and fed- older generations.”
of the Ironworker Employers Associa- eral law. When collective bargaining
In a presentation at the Iron Work-
tion of Western Pennsylvania, says it’s agreements are involved, there needs ers-IMPACT Safety and Health Round-
important to implement appropriate to be a discussion on these policies,” table in July, Daquelente spoke about
drug testing policies in order to pro- says Daquelente.
the rise in e-cigarettes being used
mote employee safety and health. The right drug tests should be used with THC oil instead of liquid tobacco.
The current industry challenge is for the right reason,” he says.
Marijuana use can be dangerous for
that testing is only available for the
“Different regions and generations employees while working, despite the
presence of drugs, not impairment have different drugs of choice. It’s im- substance’s legality.
caused by them. There hasn’t been any portant to keep in mind what’s being
“A recent study showed that the
approved way to test impairment due used by whom in your area,” he says. potency of marijuana is increasing.
to drug use because the way drugs me-
Daquelente says to be aware that In 1995 the average potency was 4
tabolize in the body varies so much. In people from all age groups use drugs. percent. In 2015, it was 12 percent.
the future, there will likely be a breath
device to test,” says Daquelente.
“Heroin and Fentanyl are not just Marijuana potency has been found to
being used by young people in their be even higher in states that have le-
Without testing to measure the im- 20s. In Cleveland and Cuyahoga galized medical marijuana.”
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | November 2017