Rules Under Development

Crystalline Silica

Chapter 296-840, WAC

All updates for this rule:

Respirable Crystalline Silica (WAC 296-840-170, WAC 296-840-175)

The purpose of this expedited rulemaking is to propose to add two non-mandatory appendices to chapter 296-840 WAC Respirable Crystalline Silica, adopted recently in response to the Occupational Safety and Health Administrations (OSHA) 2016 final rules for respirable crystalline silica. These appendices are medical resources to aid physicians and other licensed health care professionals (PLHCPs) regarding compliance with the medical surveillance provisions of the rule. The first, a medical surveillance guideline, is included in Appendix B. The second, a Tuberculosis Screening Tool designed as an adjunct to the clinical evaluation, is included in Appendix C. Under chapter 296-840 WAC, final decisions about medical recommendations rest with the PLHCP. Employers are required to provide PLHCPs with a copy of the chapter 296-840 WAC and the inclusion of the non-mandatory guidance documents will assist the PLHCPs in implementing the medical surveillance requirements. In addition, the department received comments during the adoption of the substantive requirements of chapter 296-840 WAC requesting the appendices be included in the rule. This proposal is also consistent with OSHAs rules, which include Appendix B.827.


Comments Due


PDF: Expedited Rulemaking (CR 105)

PDF: Expedited Proposed Rule Language

Respirable Crystalline Silica (Chapter 296-840 WAC), WAC 296-841-20025, WAC 296-307-62625

This rulemaking creates chapter 296-840 WAC, Respirable Crystalline Silica, and amends WAC 296-841-20025, Permissible exposure limits (PELs), and WAC 296-307-62625, Permissible exposure limits of air contaminants. These amendments update references to the respirable crystalline silica rule. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHAs) final rule for Respirable Crystalline Silica in 29 CFR 1926.1153 (Construction) and 29 CFR 1910.1053 (General Industry/Maritime) became effective on June 23, 2016. The department is required to update their rules to be at least as effective as OSHA. The departments Respirable Crystalline Silica rule covers construction and general industry in one rule (chapter 296-840 WAC), whereas OSHA has separate rules for each. The new Silica chapter addresses and limits worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica in workplaces, with the intent of curbing lung cancer incidents, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in Washington workers. The effective date of the rule is April 23, 2018, and the compliance dates are as follows: For occupational exposures to respirable crystalline silica in construction work, employers must comply with all obligations of the rule by October 1, 2018. For all occupational exposures to respirable crystalline silica other than construction work, employers must comply with all obligations of the rule by July 1, 2019, except: Employers must comply with the medical surveillance requirements for employees exposed above the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for thirty or more days per year beginning on July 1, 2019; Employers must comply with the medical surveillance requirements for employees exposed above the Action Level (Al) for thirty or more days per year beginning on June 23, 2020; and For hydraulic and fracturing operations in the oil and gas industry, employers must comply with the engineering control requirements beginning on July 1, 2022. The changes were adopted 3/20/2018 and became effective on 4/23/2018.768.


Rule Changes Effective


PDF: Adoption (Rule-Making Order CR-103)

PDF: Adopted Rule Language

PDF: Response to Public Comments (CES)


Comments Due


Public Hearing


PDF: Proposed Rulemaking (CR 102)

PDF: Proposed Rule Language


PDF: Preproposal (CR-101)

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