In safety news:

OSHA announced its final rule further limiting allowable levels of respirable silica dust. Calling the previous limits “outdated” in a press release, OSHA expects the new rules, when fully implemented, to save more than 600 lives annually and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis annually. The permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica is now 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour shift, and employers are now required to put engineering controls in place (such as water usage or ventilation) in order to control exposure. Previous limits were set at 250 micrograms for construction worksites and 100 micrograms for all other industries. Silica is released from drilling or cutting common materials like concrete. The rule takes effect immediately, but construction companies have until June 2017 to comply. Other industries were given an additional year. According to a Reuters report, several groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute, opposed the standards, citing a drop in silica-related deaths since the 1960s.

Read more from Reuters via Insurance Journal here. Read the full release from OSHA here.

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