OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.

June 7, 2018

MEMORANDUM FOR:
REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS
FROM:
GALEN BLANTON
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary
SUBJECT:
Enforcement Launch for the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard in General Industry and Maritime, 29 CFR § 1910.1053

Most provisions of the Respirable Crystalline Silica standard for general industry and maritime, 29 CFR § 1910.1053, become enforceable on June 23, 2018. The standard establishes a new 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 µg/m3, an action level (AL) of 25 µg/m3, and associated ancillary requirements.

During the first 30 days of enforcement, OSHA will assist employers that are making good faith efforts to meet the new standard's requirements. If upon inspection, it appears an employer is not making any efforts to comply, compliance officers should conduct air monitoring in accordance with Agency procedures, and consider citations for non-compliance with any applicable sections of the new standard. Any proposed citations related to inspections conducted in this 30-day time period will require National Office review prior to issuance.

Additionally, to ensure effective implementation and uniform enforcement of the new standard, OSHA has developed interim inspection and citation guidance to be released in the coming weeks. Regional offices are advised to contact the Office of Health Enforcement at (202) 693-2190 with any questions regarding enforcement of the new silica rule.