Shortcut Navigation:

AFL-CIO Now

Long Overdue Silica Dust Rule Issued, Final Action Must Be Swift, Says Trumka

Sixteen years ago, federal workplace safety officials began developing a rule to control and limit workers’ exposure to silica dust. Some 2 million workers are exposed to this deadly dust each year and, according to public health experts, more than 7,000 workers develop silicosis and 200 die each year as a result of this disabling lung disease.

Today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finally issued a proposed rule. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the new rule was welcome but calls the proposed standard “long overdue” and notes that the rule is still only a proposal.

Workers exposed to silica dust will only be protected when a final rule is issued. Some industry groups are certain to attack the rule and try to stop it in its tracks. The AFL-CIO will do everything we can to see that this does not happen. We urge the Obama administration to continue moving forward with the public rule-making process without delay. The final silica rule should be issued as fast as humanly possible, to protect the health and lives of American workers

Silicosis literally suffocates workers to death. It also causes lung cancer and other diseases. Says Trumka:

Silica dust is a killer.

The current OSHA silica standard was adopted decades ago and fails to protect workers. It allows very high levels of exposure and has no requirements to train workers or monitor exposure levels. Simply enforcing the current rule, as some in industry have called for, won’t protect workers.

The silica dust rule is one of many vital workplace safety rules that are in a rule-making process that, AFL-CIO Safety and Health Director Peg Seminario told a U.S. Senate committee earlier this month, is:

A broken and dysfunctional system, which is failing to protect workers and costing workers’ lives.

Read more here.

The email address provided does not appear to be valid. Please check the address entered and try again.
>>
Thank you for signing up to receive our blog alerts. You will receive your first email shortly.
Tagged under:
OSHA
silica
silica dust
silicosis
workplace safety

Related Stories

Online Community

Take Action

Stop Fast Track

Sign the petition and tell Congress to stop the Fast Track bill, it's undemocratic and bad for working families.

Connect With Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Flickr

Get Email from AFL-CIO

Are you a union member?

GET TEXT FROM AFL-CIO

*Message and data rates may apply.

Facebook Favorites

Blogs

Join Us Online