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OSHA Compliant Silica Vacuum

American Vacuum provides a variety of OSHA-compliant silica vacuums that meet environmental and workplace hazard regulations. Our central vacuum systems are in compliance with OSHA’S silica dust standards for the removal of silica dust and concrete.  

What is the New OSHA Silica Rule?

OSHA made a final ruling in 2016 with regards to silica dust and human exposure to the dust. The rules are being put in place to limit the exposure of respirable crystalline silica for workers at plants where silica is found. The previous exposure limits have been found to not go far enough and in 2016 OSHA ruled that tougher rules needed to be put in place. Most facilities have until June 23rd, 2018 to come into compliance.

How OSHA Rules Relate to the Central Vacuum

  • Facilities now need to constantly clean their facility to limit exposure to dust. They are putting systems in place to capture the dust before it leaves the equipment from which it is generated. These systems, however, are not 100% airtight and material still will get out. Machines also break or have “blow-outs” which can lead to thousands of pounds of material that are all of a sudden need to be dealt with.
  • Previous methods of cleaning facilities included brooms and shovels as well as compressed air “blow downs”. Both methods can kick the material into a cloud, therefore, making the silica dust airborne thus creating an exposure issue.
  • Facilities have basically two ways to handle the dust, OSHA compliant silica vacuums or water. Both have their pros and cons, but vacuum usually wins out in most facilities due to expensive cleaning systems needed to clean dirty water on plant grounds.

Industries Affected by New OSHA Silica Dust Rules

  • Glass products
  • Pottery products
  • Structural clay products
  • Concrete products
  • Foundries
  • Dental laboratories
  • Paintings and coatings
  • Jewelry production
  • Refractory products
  • Ready-mix concrete
  • Cut stone and stone products
  • Refractory installation and repair
  • Railroad track maintenance
  • Hydraulic fracturing for gas and oil
  • Construction
  • Abrasive blasting in
    • Maritime work
    • Construction
    • General industry


Silica Dust Exposure Risks

  • Silica dust is hazardous when very small (respirable) particles are inhaled. These respirable dust particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause disabling and sometimes fatal lung diseases, including silicosis and lung cancer, as well as kidney disease.
  • Occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica occurs when cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing concrete, brick, ceramic tiles, rock, and stone products. Occupational exposure also occurs in operations that process or use large quantities of sand, such as foundries and the glass, pottery, and concrete products industries. OSHA estimates that more than 2.3 million workers in the United States are potentially exposed to dust containing crystalline silica with nearly 90% of those workers employed in the construction industry.
Case Studies

Discover Our Case Studies

American Vacuum has been manufacturing Industrial Vacuums including portable, stationary, and central vacuum cleaning systems since 1910. We have installed over 500,000 Industrial Vacuum Systems across the United States and pride ourselves on being a family owned business. Please take a look at some of the case studies below to learn a little more about how American Vacuum is an industry leader and constantly pushing the industrial vacuum industry forward.