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Court Upholds Silica Worker Safety Protection

During the performance of their jobs, thousands of U.S. workers have been exposed to harmful levels of life-threatening silica. Such preventable exposure has led to needless worker deaths, disease, and suffering.

In a big victory for workers, the U.S. Court of Appeals has decided to fully uphold OSHA's 2016 final silica standard, rejecting industry challenges to worker safety regulations.

CWA, AFL-CIO, the United Steelworkers, and several other unions led an effort to have OSHA establish a comprehensive Silica Standard that would provide needed protections from silica exposure. After decades of delay, the rule finally went into effect in September of 2017.

The rule takes steps to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica.

OSHA estimates that the rule will save over 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year, once its effects are fully realized. The recent silica rules are the most significant OSHA standards issued in decades.