Silica Safety: OSHA Rule and Impact on Mine Operations

In 2017, OSHA’s final rule governing respirable crystalline silica took effect in the construction sector, and the general industry provisions are slated to become effective in June 2018. The rule reduces exposures to 50 ug/m3, which is 20% of the old construction limit and is 50% of MSHA’s current PEL. Employers will have to conduct exposure monitoring, develop a control plan that emphasizes engineering and work practices to reduce dust, and provide workers with training and medical surveillance. This session will outline the key OSHA provisions, how they will be enforced, and what the impact will be on MSHA-regulated facilities, including companies with mixed OSHA/MSHA workforces. Proactive strategies for control of silica exposures and best practices will also be provided, based on field work in the construction, concrete and frac sand industries.


Adele Abrams is an attorney and Certified Mine Safety Professional who is president of the Law Office of Adele L. Abrams P.C., with offices in Beltsville, MD, Denver, CO, and Charleston, WV. The firm represents employers in OSHA and MSHA litigation nationwide. Adele and her firm colleagues also provide consultation, safety audits and training services to companies in a variety of industries. She is an active member of the National Safety Council, where she was awarded the Distinguished Service to Safety Award (DSSA) in 2017. She also chairs the Business & Industry Division’s committee on Regulatory, Standards and Legal Affairs. She serves on the NSC Board of Delegates nationally. She is a multiple recipient of the ASSE Safety Professional of the Year Award from the Mining practice specialty. Adele is also the co-author of several textbooks on occupational and mine safety and health.

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Silica Safety: OSHA Rule and Impact on Mine Operations
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