In response to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) August 23, 2013 announcement of the proposed silica rule, the Building Stone Institute (BSI) Board of Directors unanimously voted on October 15, 2013 to join the newly formed Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC).

The CISC is seeking practical and cost-effective crystalline silica regulation that improves safety and health protection measures for workers. The Coalition represents thousands of employers working to protect hundreds of thousands of workers in home building, road repair, heavy industrial production, specialty trades, materials supply, and the natural stone industry. 

Jane Bennett, Executive Vice President of the BSI, shared that BSI does not believe the OSHA proposal to reduce the permissible exposure level of silica by 50% is practical, cost effective or based on current data that will significantly reduce silicosis.  Over the last 10 years at the current level, a 93% reduction in silica related diseases has been reported. The current limit is protective when complied with and properly enforced. Because this opinion is shared by the major trade associations in the construction industry, BSI believes this is an excellent opportunity to work with the CISC and OSHA, to develop regulations that will adequately protect the safety and health of workers, consistently be enforced, and not overly burden small businesses.  

The BSI joins this Coalition comprised of: Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC); Associated General Contractors (AGC); Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry (AWCI); America Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA); American Subcontractors Association (ASA); International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (ICE); Marble Institute of America (MIA);  Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA);  Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA); National Association of Home Builders (NAHB); National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA); National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), and others. In addition, the Natural Stone Council, of which BSI is a founding member, also joined CISC, adding conservatively forty thousand workers represented by its entire group of member affiliates. 

Ms. Bennett stated that the BSI Board approved a $1,000 contribution to the CISC.  BSI and other natural stone industry association groups encourage everyone in the dimension stone industry to become fully aware of this proposed rule and offer comment to prevent it. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has stated it will follow OSHA’s lead on the silica rule, so this is a very important issue for the entire dimension stone industry. 

Since 1919, the Building Stone Institute, a not-for-profit trade association, has worked on behalf of the quarries, fabricators, carvers, sculptors, restorers, installers and others that comprise its diverse membership. BSI promotes and advances the use of natural stone through programs and services that empower its member companies to offer the highest level of quality products and services.  BSI resources are necessary tools that enable our members to educate the architectural and design communities on the benefits and uses of natural stone. Learn more or join us at