OSHA Leaves Contractors in the Dust

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is rolling out new policies to protect workers from crystalline silica, a common material found in the Earth’s crust. Materials like sand, stone, concrete and mortar contain crystalline silica.

Respirable crystalline silica; particles that are at least 100 times smaller than an ordinary grain of sand, are created when these materials are altered via methods such as cutting, shot blasting and sand blasting. The dust these methods create can be inhaled by workers on the job site and, over time, can lead to very serious health issues such as Silicosis, Lung Cancer, COPD and Kidney Disease.

To combat this, OSHA is revising the permissible exposure limits (PELs) for crystalline silica. These new regulations are certainly putting a strain on the shot blasting and sand blasting industries. These methods for marking removal create a hazardous work environment due to the amount of dust produced by these methods.

With these new regulations, companies are now being required to measure the amount of dust generated by their services in order to determine if they meet the new PEL requirements under this new ordinance. This creates the issues of ascertaining how to measure the dust, spending more man hours and money recording the measurements and keeping logs, and determining how to adjust your methods so that they meet the new PEL requirements.

The implementation of these new regulations could pose a major problem for shipyards, as a vast number of jobs in naval ports use media blasting. Media blasting not only creates dust that is a respiratory bazard, but also creates a very slippery working surface.

Waterblasting Technologies has several solutions to mitigate the dust created for the applications you’re involved with. We use high-pressure water blasting as an environmentally safe alternative. Not only is there minimal impact to the surface with water blasting, but with our simultaneous vacuum recovery system, dust is never an issue!

Whether it is used for removing road markings or runway rubber with our water blasting systems or shedding plaster on pools or buildings, maintaining or removing coatings in shipyards, performing work in sewage, manufacturing or power plants and on many other surfaces with our vast array of Hog Tools, the combination of water and simultaneous vacuum recovery not only keeps the job site clean and virtually dustless, but it keeps your workers safe and healthy.

Waterblasting Technologies remains committed to offering the fastest and safest methods of removal in the industry. We are a company built by contractors for contractors and part of that means remaining committed to the health and safety to all who build and use our products!

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