Posted: 30 Nov '16

Controlling Silica Dust with the Right System

Controlling Silica Dust with the Right System

Silica dust is proven to cause cancer, silicosis, COPD, and kidney disease. On March 23rd of 2016, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ruled in favor of more advanced silica dust control systems to protect exposed workers. The initiative aims to save over 600 lives annually and prevent an additional 900 from being diagnosed with silicosis. For some industries, dates to comply are quickly approaching.

New Stipulations for Silica Dust Control Systems

With an effective date of June 23, 2016, the construction industry has until June 23, 2017 to be in full compliance while General Industry and Maritime has until June 23, 2018. If your work environment is not up to OSHA's new standards, Innovative Ventilation systems has services that can help get you there and keep your workers safe:

• The allowable level of respirable crystalline silica must be restricted to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air over an 8-hour shift.

• Employers must use engineering controls such as ventilation to limit the silica present.

• Training must be provided to employees that outline the risks of silica and how to limit exposure.

• A written plan on exposure control must be instituted.

PPE is No Longer an Acceptable First Line of Defense

Under the new final rule by OSHA, personal protective equipment (PPE) is no longer considered as a first line of defense. In addition, current vacuum systems are no longer considered adequate in keeping silica levels down and need to be audited and replaced with new, more advanced, dust control systems that meet the new reductions in exposure limits. Our expert team can evaluate your work environment and recommend the most appropriate solution for maintaining proper levels of respirable crystalline silica. Our solutions are guaranteed to provide a healthy breathing atmosphere with minimal disruption to your working environment and production. We understand that updating equipment can interfere with the natural order of things and increase the risk of injury and downtime; with that in mind, we strive to make our installations as safe and convenient as possible.

For more information on how the OSHA’s final rule on respirable crystalline silica will affect your business, we invite you to contact us. We can perform an on-site evaluation and create a custom solution that works for you and your staff.