American Vacuum provides a variety of industrial vacuum cleaners 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 the 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 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, 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
- 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
- Abrasive blasting in
- Maritime work
- General industry
BROWSE OUR PRODUCTS FOR SILICA DUST
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 of 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.