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Senate Small Business Committee Hears Silica Rule Concerns

This week, the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held a hearing to discuss how small business handle the impact of significant government regulation.  
This week, the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held a hearing to discuss how small business handle the impact of significant government regulation.  One of the issues that came up was the recently finalized Crystalline Silica Rule.   
 
Testifying before the committee was Randy Noel, Vice Chair of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), who told lawmakers that businesses must navigate an ever-increasing tangle of regulations, and cited the rule issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to regulate worker exposure to crystalline silica that OSHA said carried a cost estimate to the construction industry of approximately $511 million per year.
 
An independent study, however, found that the true cost would be nearly $5 billion per year.  It further stated that the OSHA cost analysis had omitted over 1 million workers in the construction industry who regularly encounter silica-containing materials and it failed to account for a variety of indirect costs associated with set-up, clean-up, materials, and productivity penalties.  It is therefore considerably burdensome to comply with the rule for technological and economic reasons, all while rates of silicosis deaths were sharply declining before the rule was issued. 
 
NDA has joined NAHB and other groups in a lawsuit over the silica rule.  In addition, NDA is in the preliminary stages of setting up meetings with OSHA to discuss demolition and industry concerns.  Members with questions may contact Kevin McKenney, NDA's Director of Government Affairs, at 202-367-2480 or at kmckenney@demolitionassociation.com

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