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The Real Cost of Fiber Cement

The Real Cost of Fiber Cement

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Home Vendor News The Real Cost of Fiber Cement

Many builders and installers are taking a hard look at the added administrative and equipment costs now required when choosing fiber cement siding for their projects.
New OSHA rules limiting exposure to harmful silica dust are in place and enforcement has begun. Any company installing fiber cement siding is required to implement new record keeping and engineering controls to comply.
Research has demonstrated that exposure can lead to lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that the new rule will save over 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year, once its effects are fully realized.
Employers subject to the new rule must take the following steps:
1. Implement specified exposure control methods.
2. Complete exposure assessments.
3. Setup respiratory protection programs where required.
4. Get appropriate equipment, controls, and respirators where required.
5. Arrange for medical surveillance.
6. Determine appropriate housekeeping methods.
7. Prepare a written exposure control plan.
8. Set up a training program.
9. Set up a recordkeeping system.
This new layer of government oversight has many questioning the use of fiber cement siding. It’s no surprise then, that vinyl and enginereed wood are getting new consideration from builders. Cost, ease of installation, color and durability all play a role.
With alternatives like vinyl and engineered wood siding, builders and installers are discovering they can eliminate the risk of silica dust for their workers and avoid the added costs of OSHA’s new rules and regulations.
Learn more about the rules and alternative materials at


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