Statement by International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers President James Boland on the 90-Day Delay of OSHA’s Silica Standard
[Washington, D.C.] April 7, 2017 – On behalf of 75,000 BAC members and all workers, union and non-union, in the masonry industry, we are very concerned by the Trump Administration’s decision to postpone enforcement of the Silica Standard. The Standard has been the law of the land for nearly a year, and the construction industry has been given sufficient time to comply.
This delay puts millions of construction workers at continued and needless risk. It will also lead to an additional 160 worker deaths in just the three-month period. [Originally scheduled to begin June 23, enforcement is now set to begin Sept. 23, 2017.]
Our government has acknowledged the dangers of silica exposure since the 1930s; and the increased protections provided by the Standard have been recommended for more than 40 years. We expect the government will enforce this standard to better protect the lives and the health of the hardworking individuals and families who build our economy, and, indeed, who build this country.
BAC members have campaigned for reduced exposure limits for two decades, and we will continue to do everything possible to protect the health and safety of our workers who should not have to risk their health and lives in order to get a paycheck.