ROCKVILLE, MD. — The Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Inc. (MCAA) has joined with 10 other construction trade associations to create the Construction Industry Safety Coalition in response to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed rule on silica for the construction industry, which was published on OSHA’s website on August 23. In the proposed rule, OSHA recommended a drastic reduction in the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable silica.

“OSHA’s proposed rule is a good starting point,” said Tom Skaggs, Chairman of MCAA’s Safety and Health Committee, and Vice President – Safety for the Murphy Company in St. Louis, MO. He added, “Several provisions in the proposed rule appear unnecessary for worker protection, and most likely will not be feasible for many construction firms. It is my hope that, by working with OSHA on the solution, MCAA and the coalition will be able to develop a practical rule for worker protection.”

“MCAA is looking forward to working with OSHA and our coalition partners to develop an effective, practical silica rule for the industry,” said Pete Chaney, Director of Safety and Health for MCAA. He notes that such a rule would adequately protect workers from overexposure without imposing unnecessary costs and burden on construction employers, such as MCAA’s members.

The coalition is comprised of national construction industry trade associations representing thousands of employers that work to protect hundreds of thousands of workers from jobsite hazards like silica. In addition to MCAA, the coalition’s members are:

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
Associated General Contractors (AGC)
Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry (AWCI)
American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)
American Subcontractors Association (ASA)
International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (ICE)
Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA)
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)
National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA)
Silica is a common compound that can be harmful to humans when it is inhaled in high concentration over a period of time. Certain construction activities, such as pulverizing concrete, brick, block, tile, and other silica-containing materials, generate silica dust particles that are small enough to inhale.

For additional information about MCAA’s Safety Excellence Initiative, our participation in the Construction Industry Safety Coalition or OSHA’s proposed silica standard, please contact Pete Chaney at 800/556-3653 or