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OSHA's Silica Ruling About to Hit Hard


OSHA has finally committed to a more aggressive compliance ruling to combat silica exposure which will have a huge impact on small businesses across the country. Their ruling goes into effect today, June 23, 2016, and it’s aimed for changing the way construction companies do business. This new silica ruling is now giving the go ahead to increase fines throughout the country for anyone who isn’t in compliance. Respectfully, each company has one year to five years to comply with the ruling if found to be operating outside of these new compliance measures. For construction companies, this means one year to comply. General industry and maritime can expect a two year compliance schedule if found non-compliant.


It may be easy to point the finger at OSHA, but their reasoning behind these new measures is still a valid one. Silica dust exposure is dangerous. Many of you are already rolling your eyes at the thought of having to implement an extensive and expensive regimen to meet the new compliance rules. We’re here to tell you that any additional measure you make will put you, your workers, families and clients in a better situation.


The bottom line remains: the only true way to remove this danger is to completely eliminate the dust exposure from ever being introduced into the air. This has always been our solution to this issue. Remove the dust particulate, remove the problem. And for years, we’ve talked about the dangers of silica and dust exposure; not only to construction workers, but to the families that dwell inside or near construction sites. It was one of the main reasons why we developed our dustless sanding system: BAR Co’s Vac Sander.


“OSHA has issued (its) final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule is comprised of two standards, one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime. OSHA estimates that the rule will save over 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year, once its effects are fully realized. The Final Rule is projected to provide net benefits of about $7.7 billion, annually.” [1]


Key provisions of the new ruling aim to reduce the permissible exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air over an 8-hour shift, requiring employers to implement engineering controls such as water or ventilation to limit worker exposure, including providing respirators in uncontrollable conditions and high exposure areas, as well as to provide training, medical exams to highly exposed workers, and additional information regarding lung health, as well as provide enough flexibility to employers to help protect workers from silica exposure.


Accordingly, OSHA is reaching out to support businesses by providing on-site consulting, as well as information and compliance assistance. For more information regarding OSHA’s new silica ruling, visit https://www.osha.gov/silica/. You can also visit OSHA’s silica crystalline information pages at https://www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/silicacrystalline/.


As a company that has been applying our silica solutions to product development for years now, we’re ready to stand up and help small businesses meet OSHA’s new silica ruling head-on. Applying compliance measures shouldn’t mean an instant death sentence for small businesses and their owners.


For those of you looking for ways to completely remove silica threats or air-born dust particulate due to sanding of gypsum, drywall, and/or due to wall preparation, email us directly at support@barcoproductionco.com. Mention OSHA’s new silica ruling in your email and we will send you a special discount for your company that can be used toward any of our sanders, abrasives, base unit options, or hose systems.


Have questions about proper sanding techniques or concerns about applying new compliance measures? Questions about job specific projects or tasks that involve the use of a hand sander? Contact us at info@barcoproductionco.com or call our office directly at (855) 227-2276.


[1] https://www.osha.gov/silica/


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BAR Co. Production Company was started with the desire of bringing to market amazing new innovations that aim to improve traditional tools and increase equipment performance, while meeting environmental needs in the home, making home improvements easier, cleaner and at a low cost. Our green products are patented with one focus: A Better Home Environment.


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