Federal Court Ruling Upholds OSHA Silica Standard

January 8, 2018



Tom Owens



Federal Court Ruling Upholds OSHA Silica Standard

Washington, DC (January 5, 2018) — The following statement was released today by North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), in reaction to the U.S. Court of Appeals decision to uphold OSHA’s new silica standard and its life-saving provisions:

“In a victory for the nation’s construction workers, on December 22, 2017, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected industry challenges and upheld OSHA’s Silica Standard.  The ruling will prevent thousands of cases of silica-related illnesses and hundreds of deaths each year.

“We applaud the leadership and staff of the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for their tireless work in promulgating and defending the standard on behalf of America’s workers.

“Our affiliates played a critical role in advancing and supporting the standard.  Since the late 1990s, NABTU’s Safety and Health Committee had been raising industry awareness of the health risks associated with workplace exposure to respirable silica and the need to use more protective measures.

“NABTU’s Silica Subcommittee worked relentlessly throughout this period to keep silica on OSHA’s regulatory agenda and to gather the evidence to support the new standard.  Many of our affiliates and their members actively participated in OSHA’s extensive rulemaking proceedings, sharing stories of their family members and co-workers lost to silica-related illnesses, as well as practical and easily-implemented ways to control exposures and protect workers.  Their testimony and evidence not only supported the standard, but the strong record they created provided much of the basis for OSHA’s defense of the standard in court.

“Our unions look forward to working with OSHA and our employers to implement the standard and eliminate the health risks associated with silica exposure once and for all.”

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North America’s Building Trades Unions is an alliance of 14 national and international unions in the building and construction industry that collectively represent over 3 million skilled craft professionals in the United States and Canada. Each year, our unions and our signatory contractor partners invest over $1 billion in private sector money to fund and operate over 1,900 apprenticeship training and education facilities across North America that produce the safest, most highly trained and productive skilled craft workers found anywhere in the world.