Crystalline silica is a common mineral that is found in materials that we see every day in roads, buildings, and sidewalks. It is a common component of sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar.
Exposures to crystalline silica dust occur in common workplace operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing of concrete, brick, block, rock stone products (such as construction tasks), and operations using sand products (such as in glass manufacturing, foundries, sand blasting, and hydraulic fracturing).
This rule has brought forth much positive and negative feedback since OSHA published on March 25, 2016. Those opposed to the ruling are worried about the impact it'll have on jobs. Those for the ruling feel it will save more than 600 lives and prevent more than 900 cases of silicosis every year.
Despite the three month delay, employers in the construction industry should continue operating as they were. While it's always a good idea to limit the exposure of silica to the employees, any changes to the program now may be no longer be warranted if this regulation does fall through.