OSHA Issues Final Rule With More Stringent Silica Exposure Limit
On March 24, 2016, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule, which among other things, significantly reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for workers’ exposure to respirable crystalline silica from 100 micrograms per cubic meter of air (averaged over an 8-hour shift) to 50 micrograms per cubic meter. The new OSHA rule impacts a wide range of industries including construction, manufacturing, oil and gas production, and railroads. In addition to the more stringent PEL, the new rule includes monitoring, training, record-keeping, housekeeping, and other requirements for employers. The rule will take effect in June 2016 with the construction industry required to comply with the new standards by June 2017 and general industry required to comply by June 2018.
For more information, please contact Andy Thompson or Steve O’Day. Click here for a copy of the OSHA Fact Sheet applicable to the construction industry, and click here for a copy of the OSHA Fact Sheet applicable to general industry and maritime.
Supreme Court Upholds $5.8 Million Judgment for Employee Time to Change Into and Out of Safety Equipment
On March 22, 2016, the Supreme Court upheld a $5.8 million judgment against Tyson Foods in a pay dispute between the company and more than 3,000 workers. In the case, Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, workers sued to be paid for the time spent putting on and taking off protective work clothes and equipment before slaughtering and processing animals. In a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court upheld lower court rulings in favor of the workers.
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