Monika Hartl
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Crystalline Sillica Rulemaking – Milwaukee Worker’s Compensation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that a notice of proposed rulemaking for crystalline silica was published in the Federal Register. (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-12/html/2013-20997.htm) As a Milwaukee worker’s compensation attorney, I was glad to hear this issue is being addressed and this rule will be another way our workers are protected.

The proposed rule is aimed at lowering worker exposure to crystalline silica, which is a deadly dust. According to OSHA, the dust kills hundreds and sickens thousands through silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease.  Obviously these are areas that concern anyone focusing on Milwaukee worker’s compensation.

OSHA will make the proposed rule open to comments through December 11, 2013. During that time, the public may submit written suggested modifications for consideration in the final rule.  Hearings on the proposed silica rule are scheduled to being the first week of March in Washington, D.C. Anyone in the public wishing to participate in the hearings need to submit a notice of intention to appear before November 12, 2103.

OSHA estimates that limiting silica exposure may save 700 lives yearly and prevent 1,600 new cases of silicosis annually once it is fully enacted. Exposure to airborne silica occurs in different operations such as cutting, sawing and drilling, as well as any operation utilizing sand products. The current standards are very outdated and based on research from the 1960s. They were issued in 1971 and since then, studies have shown an increase risk of lung cancer and many groups have named respirable silica as a human carcinogen.

If you or your loved one has suffered a serious injury due to your workplace environment, it is imperative to speak with a Milwaukee worker’s compensation lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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