Posted by Wayne J. D'Angelo Fracking Insider
The proposed rule is especially relevant to companies involved in hydraulic fracturing, as the agency issued a “hazard alert” in June 2012 warning of worker exposure to silica during fracturing operations. According to the Hazard Alert, industry’s use of proppants to keep fractures open and maintain the flow of hydrocarbons in hydraulically fractured wells can lead to exposures of respirable crystalline silica. OSHA asserts that approximately 25,440 oil and gas workers are currently exposed to silica dust and 16,056 are exposed to levels above the proposed permissible exposure limit of 50 micrograms per cubic meter.