Dust Storm

[By Bruce Wardwell]

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic pulmonary disease and kidney disease by limiting exposure to respirable crystalline silica, and to take other steps to protect workers. There are two standards for this rule, one for the Construction industry, and one for General Industry and Maritime.

The new standards take effect June 23, 2017 for the Construction industry and contractors have one year to comply with most requirements. Exposure to crystalline silica can occur during common construction tasks such as using masonry saws, grinders, drills, jackhammers and handheld powered chipping tools. OSHA has published a standard for Respirator Requirements (see below) associated with each of these tools. Requirements are based on Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL’s) and spell out the personal protection equipment required, and the associated Dust Management Systems.

Anyone that attended the World of Concrete this past January knows the importance this initiative could potentially have on our industry. Almost every tool manufacturer and safety products producer displayed new products to help their customers be compliant with the new regulations.

Information on the OSHA Silica regulations can be attained from the experts at your local Harris, and our associates will find an informative power point presentation on the A.H. Harris/Kenseal ‘learn & earn’ training portal. Keeping our customers informed and educated on changes in the industry is what makes the A.H. Harris/Kenseal team a value added business partner.

OSHA Silica Standard

Table 1 Respirator Requirements

Tool / Equipment
Dust Management System
Outdoor: Under 4 Hrs
Outdoor:4 Hrs or More
Indoor: Under 4 Hrs
Indoor:4 Hrs or More
 

Handheld Power Saw

Any Size Blade

 

Cont. Water Mist System

 

None

 

APF 10

 

APF 10

 

APF 10

Handheld Saw 8″ or Smaller

cutting Fiber Cement Board

Commercial Dust Collection System None None Outdoor Use ONLY Outdoor Use ONLY
Walk Behind Saw

Any Size Blade

Cont. Water Mist None None APF 10 APF 10
Rig Mounted Core Drill Cont. Water System None None None None
Hand Held Drill

Impact & Rotary Hammer

Commercial Dust Collection System None None None None
Jackhammer & Powered Demo Tools Cont. Water or Comm. Dust Collection System None APF 10 APF 10 APF 10
Grinder –

Mortar Removal (Tuckpoint)

Commercial Dust Collection System – 25 CFM or Greater APF 10

Half-Mask

APF 25 APF 10

Half-Mask

APF 25
Grinder –

Other Than Mortar

Cont. Water or Comm. Dust Collection System – 25 CFM or More None None None APF 10
Walk Behind Floor Grinder Cont. Water or Comm. Dust Collection System None None None None
 

Heavy Equipment –

Abrade or Fracture (Demo)

 

Enclosed Cab for Operator Water Mist System if additional workers are engaged in task

 

None

 

None

 

None

 

None

Heavy Equipment –

Uses other than Demo

Enclosed Cab for Operator Water Mist System if additional workers are engaged in task None None None None

 

Information is based on OSHA Table 1 standards as of 3/1/17 (see here). ANY operations that are not covered by the OSHA Table 1 Standards MUST use either Scheduled Monitoring or Performance Method for monitoring Silica Exposure to workers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *