WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Below is a statement from Mark Ellis, president of the National Industrial Sand Association (NISA), on OSHA’s proposed silica rule announced August 23, 2013. NISA companies are the largest producers of industrial sand in the United States and supply sand for the oil and gas industry, glass manufacturing, foundries, building products, water filtration and other industrial uses.
“We look forward to working with OSHA on its proposed crystalline silica standard because we believe a rule is needed to further protect workers. We agree with OSHA’s mandating dust monitoring and medical surveillance. NISA companies have been voluntarily conducting dust monitoring and medical surveillance in their workplaces for more than 30 years and, as a result, have virtually eliminated silicosis from their workplaces.”
“Because our companies have successfully protected their workers under the current permissible exposure limit (PEL), we do not believe there is a proven need to lower that level and disagree with OSHA’s proposal to cut that limit in half. We believe our shared goal of eliminating silicosis from American workplaces can be achieved under the current exposure limit by requiring companies to comply with proposed rules for regular monitoring of the air their workers breathe to insure it is below the current limit.”
The National Industrial Sand Association’s Long History Of Protecting Workers’ Health
Industrial sand companies have one of the longest histories of working with silica and more direct contact with silica than anyone else in industry. It is why, more than three decades ago the National Industrial Sand Association and its member companies worked with occupational health experts to establish an Occupational Health Program (OHP).
The voluntary program consists of a strong management commitment to implement a silicosis prevention program, routine medical surveillance to look for lung disease, periodic assessments of the amount of silica dust exposure, implementation of dust control methodologies, employee involvement and smoking cessation programs. The NISA program goes far beyond current regulatory requirements, but its member companies have embraced this approach because it works to prevent silicosis and it is the right thing to do for our employees.
For more information about NISA’s Occupational Health Program go to: http://www.sand.org/Silica-Occupational-Health-Program