In the wake of a new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule on respirable Silica dust exposure limits, several manufacturing and construction trade groups are seeking a federal court review to challenge the measure.
The Manufacturers Center for Legal Action, part of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and the American Foundry Society filed a petition on Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals in the fifth circuit to challenge the rule. Separate petitions from construction-related trade groups, like the Associated General Contractors of America and the National Association of Home Builders were also submitted.
The trade groups contend that the new rule, which limits workplace exposure to respirable Silica dust to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, will have detrimental economic effects on American businesses. Trade groups and businesses anticipate increased expenses, like safety equipment and fines, as a result of the rule.
“In the span of less than a week, manufacturers have been saddled with two federal regulations that threaten the manufacturing economy and will fundamentally change the workplace,” Linda Kelly, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Association of Manufacturers said in a statement on the organization’s website. “This regulation raises serious and significant legal questions, lacks economic and technical feasibility and justification, and will cost billions.”
Jerry Hall, president of the American Foundry Society (AFS), echoed Kelly’s sentiments, saying the Schaumberg, IL-based organization was concerned about financial impacts of the rule on its members, many of which are small businesses.
“AFS seeks a regulation that is based on sound science and protects workers, while also being technologically and economically feasible.”