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North America's Bldg. Trades Unions v. OSHA   (D.C. Circuit)

Challenging OSHA's Silica Rule

On May 2, 2016, the NAM joined with the American Foundry Society to challenge the Occupational and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new crystalline silica rule, which cuts the current permissible exposure limit in half and requires employers to implement costly engineering controls. The rule attempts to limit exposure to silica-containing materials such as concrete and stone in industries such as brick manufacturing, foundries and hydraulic fracturing. We are fighting this rule on all fronts by both petitioning for review of the final rule and intervening to address the union filings directly. On November 18, 2016, we filed our joint industry opening brief to oppose this rule, which will severely stunt the economy and burden manufacturers.

Manufacturers are committed to safe, productive and modern workplaces. This rule, however, relies on out-of-date economic data and drastically underestimates the costs that will be inflicted on manufacturers and the entire economy. As a result, some manufacturers could be forced to close their doors while others will be saddled with crushing regulations. Manufacturers tried to work with OSHA to make this a feasible, effective rule and have long stressed the need for flexibility, clear justification and reliable, current data in the rulemaking process. Our suggestions, however, were ignored. Employers have worked for decades to achieve compliance with the current exposure limits and, through these efforts, have adopted the best possible and most cost-effective ways to keep all their employees safe. Because of OSHA’s failure to work with industry in setting reasonably achievable exposure limits, we were forced to take our fight to the courts.

Related Documents:
Industry Reply Brief  (March 3, 2017)
Industry Joint Brief  (February 24, 2017)
Industry opening brief  (November 18, 2016)
NAM motion to intervene  (May 2, 2016)
NAM petition for review  (May 2, 2016)
NAM press release  (April 4, 2016)


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