TULSA, OK – The Federal Register recently published a significant change to the regulations relating to respirable crystalline silica dust. OSHA has announced the final rule on occupational exposure for respirable crystalline silica reducing the permissible exposure limit (PEL) by 50%.
What does this mean for you?
- The new regulations reduces the PEL to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8 hour shift.
- OSHA requires employers to utilize engineering controls such as Airis Wellsite Services’ patented dust control system to maintain exposure levels at the new limits. Airis, formerly KSW Environmental is mentioned in the OSHA publication multiple times as a successful engineering solution.
- Remember, the 2013 OSHA – NIOSH Hazard Alert found a 79% failure rate at the new PEL levels. In addition, many frac profiles utilize higher sand quantities than three years ago, implying an even higher rate of failure today.
Additionally, the regulations require employers to:
- Limit worker access to high exposure areas
- Develop written exposure control plans
- Provide training programs to educate employees on the risks of working near silica dust
- Provide training programs to educate employees on preventative measures to limit exposure
- Restrict housekeeping practices that add potential exposures
- Implement appropriate signage communicating hazardous work areas
- Offer medical exams to highly exposed employees
- Maintain documentation of medical exams and silica exposure records for tenure plus 30 years
Contact Airis Wellsite Services dust mitigation experts today to help you navigate through the 600+ pages of the new law. Are you ready? We can help you get there – with safer employees and increased uptime for your equipment.