James Calderwood, a partner with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Zuckert, Scoutt & Rasenberger, serves as the general counsel to the Society of Glass & Ceramic Decorators. This column is designed to provide information of general interest and cannot substitute for in-depth analysis of particular legal problems.
Until earlier this year, no court had addressed the issue of determining the correct method for calculating actual workplace exposure to silica under regulations issued by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is part of the Department of Labor.
Chinese-made ceramic products are increasingly available in the United States and other countries, and U.S.-based producers of ceramic manufacturing equipment sell their equipment in China. This dichotomy produces a conflict for certain segments of the U.S. ceramic market—how to compete against inexpensive imports yet also make sales of equipment and supplies.
Imports into the U.S. have been growing at a rapid rate for the last several years, far exceeding the growth of exports. Some U.S. based producers of ceramic goods have looked into ways of preventing or inhibiting the import of competing products.
What has a 1,000-page preamble and 300 pages of regulations in fine print? No, it’s not the bureaucracy from Mars—it’s the recently proposed workplace rules on ergonomics published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).