The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released its final rules on silica dust, reducing permissible levels of exposure by 80 percent for construction workers. More than 2 million workers are exposed to the disease-causing crystalline dust in the workplace from such common jobs as cutting tile or concrete block or trimming fiber-cement siding. The new rules go into effect in June 2017, giving employers more than a year to get ready. Industry trade groups objected, warning the rules would slow construction and raise costs, but OSHA said the regulations would save hundreds of lives a year and annually prevent 900 new cases of silicosis, an incurable and progressive disease. OSHA published a guide for small construction employers designed to make compliance easier. Read More