Posted June 23, 2017

Virginia sticks with June 23 to begin silica enforcement

Enforcement for 48 states still set to begin September 23, 2017.

The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Program has announced that it will not delay the original OSHA respirable silica dust enforcement date. All requirements under the VOSH standard will be enforced starting June 23, 2017; earlier this year OSHA pushed back it's enforcement date to Sept. 23rd 2017.

Virginia is one of several states that have their own state-level OSHA plans. Individual states can meet and/or exceed the federal OSHA guidelines. They also can apply for a deviation, which requires approval at the federal level.

Their reasoning is as follows:

….there was no way under the state Administrative Procedures Act that the Board could have adopted a change in the enforcement date prior to the June 23, 2017 effective date. The earliest possible change to the enforcement date could not have kicked in until August 1, 2017, so VOSH would have been in a position requiring it to enforce the standard between June 23, 2017 and August 1, 2017 when any Board stay could take effect.

We did not think it a good idea to enforce and then not enforce the standard. Beside the potential for confusion, and consequences for the construction bidding process, taking that course would have resulted in disparate treatment of some employers who were subject to citation during the June 23 – August 1 time period versus others VOSH encountered between August 1 and September 23, 2017 who would not have been subject to citation.

Here are the enforcement dates for the U.S. as of today:

  • June 23, 2017: Virginia
  • September 23, 2017: 48 states excluding the other two listed
  • July 1, 2018: Oregon

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