OSHA Proposes Silica Rule Affecting Fracking Workers

more+
less-

Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed a rule to decrease the permissible exposure limits (PELs) for crystalline silica.  OSHA indicated that the inhalation of silica dust can increase workers’ risk of silicosis and other diseases.  Silica is commonly used as a proppant in hydraulic fracturing. 

The current PELs for crystalline silica are more than 40 years old and vary by industry.  OSHA concluded that these PELs were difficult to understand and not adequately protective of worker health.  The proposed PEL is 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air averaged over an 8-hour period and applies to all industries covered by the rule.

At fracking sites, silica sand is delivered by truck and typically transported by conveyor belt before it is blended with other fluids and injected into the well.  The resulting exposure of silica dust from these operations was recently identified by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as a hazard for workers involved in fracking operations.

OSHA will accept comments on the proposed rule for 90 days after publication of the rule in the Federal Register.

 


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Stoel Rives LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

more+
less-

Stoel Rives LLP on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
×
Loading...
×
×