NFIB Files Comments on Silica Regulations

Date: February 10, 2014

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Eric Reller 202-314-2073 or  

NFIB Files Comments on Silica Regulations

Unnecessary OSHA Regulation Will Cost $7.2 Billion Annually

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 10, 2014 — The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) submitted comments to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Monday in response to troubling proposed rules that will directly impact at least 25 percent of NFIB’s members and cost $7.2 billion in average lost real output per year.

The comments focus on silica, a ubiquitous mineral naturally found in many materials. Silica is prevalent in the construction and manufacturing industries, as well as in dozens of other commercial applications. Given the widespread use of materials containing silica, this regulation will have a substantial economic impact on small businesses in many sectors. OSHA estimates that about 533,000 businesses – most of which are small businesses – and 2.1 million workers are covered.

“OSHA is proposing to reduce the permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica by half for most industries and by 80 percent for the construction industry – despite data showing the agency has not worked with businesses to achieve compliance at the current standard,” said NFIB Manager of Regulatory Policy Dan Bosch. “It seems OSHA would rather formulate punitive regulations for the all industries, rather than work with the small number of businesses that are out of compliance. NFIB strongly urges OSHA to withdraw the rulemaking because it has not shown that it is necessary, it will be extraordinarily expensive and complex to attain compliance, and it has failed to adequately consider the impact on small businesses and their employees.”

The proposed rules, which were published in the September 13, 2013 edition of the Federal Register, govern Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica. 

NFIB will continue to work through its coalition, Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations, in an effort to protect small businesses and American jobs from the impact of regulations. Click here for more information.


For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America's economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities. More information is available online at

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