A coalition of trade associations filed suit against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's final silica rule.
The rule, issued by OSHA March 24, will lower the amount of silica dust workers can be exposed to and mandate certain controls to limit exposure. Eight construction industry organizations filed the legal challenge to the rule, citing concerns about its technological and economic feasibility.
“OSHA's silica regulation is based on flawed science, flawed economic data and flawed logic,” Pete Ruane, president of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association in Washington, said in a statement. “The unintended consequence of the proposal is that it will actually expose road workers to greater risk by diverting resources.”
The rule is based on outdated health data, opponents say. They point to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that showed that the number of deaths from silicosis has declined 93% to 165 in 2004 from 1,065 in 1968.