Proposed Rule for Crystalline Silica Levels Impractical and Costly to Implement, NAHB Thinks

Published: Feb 16, 2014

The recently proposed rule to lower permissible exposure limits (PEL) of crystalline silica in construction sites, made by the Occupational Safety and Health Adminisration (OSHA), has met with criticism from several construction industry leaders. One of them is the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

In NAHB’s view, OSHA lacks significant understanding of how the implementation of the rule will work in practice. Home builders are afraid they might not be able to meet the increased costs that will come with it. According to OSHA’s own estimate, meeting the new PEL regulations will cost around $511 million, but other economists think $2.2 billion per year is a more realistic approximation.

And while OSHA argues that the new PEL could significantly reduce health hazards for construction workers, NAHB points to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “that shows a sharp decline in the incidences of silicosis in recent decades.” Thus, until a more sustainable solution is found, NAHB thinks its best tо treat the proposal as an “advance notice of a proposed rule.“

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Victor Lance is the founder and president of Lance Surety Bond Associates, Inc. He began his career as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving two combat tours. As president of Lance Surety, he now focuses on educating and assisting small businesses throughout the country with various license and bond requirements. Victor graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Business Administration and holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

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