Small Businesses Will Pay a Big Price for New Silica Rule

Date: March 24, 2016

New standard would lead to 27,000 jobs lost

For Immediate
Release
Andrew Wimer, 202-314-2073 or 703-298-5938 (cell)
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Washington, DC (March 24, 2016) – The National Federation of
Independent Business (NFIB)
opposes a new rule from the Occupation Safety
and Health Administration (OSHA) that would radically heighten standards for
exposure to silica. The new rule would significantly increase monitoring costs
and paperwork requirements for small business.

“The new silica rule would do real economic
damage, especially to small businesses,” said Dan Bosch, NFIB Sr. Manager of Regulatory Affairs. “By our own
estimate, this regulation would cost the economy $7.2 billion a year and 27,000
jobs over ten years. OSHA cannot even enforce the current standard, but is
tightening the clamps anyway.”

Additionally, OSHA has not properly met its
obligation to consider how the rule would impact small business. The Regulatory
Flexibility Act requires the agency to reach out to small businesses. The
agency is relying on a Small Business Advocacy Review panel that was convened
in 2003. This panel recommended against heightening the standard.

“OSHA is shutting out the concerns of small
business owners,” said Bosch “It’s been 13 years since they asked for input and
the rule and workplace technology has gone through many changes since then. The
review was conducted before the current President was in the Senate and before
anyone had ever heard of Apple’s iPhone. In other words, it is ancient history
sorely in need of an update.”

The text of the rule is more than 1,700 pages,
making it almost impossible for the typical small business owner to read and
comprehend. At the levels called for in the new OSHA standard, businesses will
have to invest significant new resources to monitor particles at such a low
level.

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