In 2017, OSHA released new requirements and standards for Silica Dust produced during construction activities. Naturally, concrete sawing and cutting contractors are affected by these new standards due to their activities being a large producer of exposure. Excessive exposure for long durations to silica can lead to a condition called Silicosis. This is a direct result of silica getting in the lungs and airways of humans.
Ohio Concrete has responded positively to the new standards. Fortunately, most of our processes adhere to Table 1. Table 1 is guidance by OSHA on the most common versions of silica producing activities (https://www.osha.gov/silica/Table1sect1926.1153.pdf). This table addresses service hours and engineered equipment and protective requirements. The major points of the new standards are as follows:
Prevention by using manufacturer required safeties and water application devices.
Safety masks and cleanliness processes to prevent inhalation of silica
Health checks and testing to create baselines and ensure safe respirator use
All Ohio Concrete employees have undergone extensive training on these silica safety procedures. Each field operator undergoes a medical review. Each task has a silica exposure plan pre designated to ensure safe operation.
Our preference is to use water in all of our cutting operations. If a process must be dry, we do have the necessary equipment (HEPA vacuums and shrouds) to complete.
If you have questions about Silica safety and how we can help your company, please call today. Our silica exposure plan is available by request.