October 2013, Vol. 240 No. 10

Government

Pipeline Construction Among Most Affected By OSHA Proposal On Crystalline Silica

Oil and gas operations are near the top of the list of sectors which will be affected if the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed workplace standard on crystalline silica becomes final. The agency lists 13 sectors which have the biggest exposure to crystalline silica, which is a primary cause of silicosis, a fatal lung disease, and also lung cancer. Of the 13 sectors, rock and sandblasting associated with building pipelines and digging wells has the fourth-highest number of workers exposed to crystalline silica above the permissible exposure (PEL) limit of 100 micrograms. The proposed rule would replace that 40-year old PEL with one set at 50 m

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