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OSHA updates employers on crystalline silica rule

Texas general industry and maritime employers have until June 23 of this year to comply with much of the OSHA standard for respirable crystalline silica. Employers in the construction industry have had to comply with the rule since it went into effect in June 2016. The standard prohibits workers from being exposed to more than an average of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air of crystalline silica for an eight-hour shift.

Crystalline silica is found in both real and artificial stone as well as in sand, and roughly 2 million construction workers are exposed to it. Too much exposure to the substance could result in scarring of the lungs. Employers are required to create written plans to limit worker exposure as well as establish worker training programs as part of the standard. Furthermore, employers are required to assess the ways in which workers may be exposed to crystalline silica on the job.

If a worker is injured or becomes ill on the job, it may result in that worker needing time off to recover. This could impact a company's ability to meet the needs of its clients. It may also impact its ability to find quality workers in the future. In addition to any consequences that workplace injuries may have for an organization, it may also result in OSHA citations for workplace safety and workers compensation costs.

Workers who are hurt at work are generally entitled to have their medical bills related to the injury paid on their behalf. They may also be entitled to a portion of their salary while they are out of work. Those who believe that they may be entitled to workers compensation benefits may wish to talk with an attorney. Legal counsel may also be helpful to those who have had an application for benefits denied.

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