Silica dust on the jobsite is produced when cutting, grinding, drilling, sanding, mixing or demolishing materials that contain silica – concrete, masonry and the like. Bosch PRO+GUARD™ Dust Solutions can help users manage airborne dust particle exposure and can help them move toward compliance. An added bonus in this airborne crystalline silica dust management is the fact that doing so can increase productivity. For example, Bosch's Speed Clean™ bits are code approved and meet OSHA standards, and they are for maximum dust removal. If you are on a jobsite or are a manager in the construction industry, you should know that these particles pose serious health risks when inhaled, including potentially long-term conditions such as silicosis.
Respirable crystalline silica dust
Silica dust has been the focus of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recently, and they are going to enforce even stricter standards to protect professionals. The original OSHA dust standard was strict, but the updated standard in OSHA silica table 1 is stricter.
The previous silica dust ruling from OSHA was a standard that was enacted in 1971. The current ruling states that employers are required to limit exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust to 50 µg/m3 or lower, averaged over an eight-hour day.
Silica dust is common
Silica dust comes from a substance many people know as “quartz,” and silica is present in many construction materials. The dust is created by drilling, cutting or grinding concrete, mortar, block, brick, asphalt and stone. These all have quartz, or silica, present. The dust that’s created has multiple sizes of particles. The ones that OSHA is responding to is respirable crystalline silica dust particles are so small they aren’t visible; the crystalline silica aspect of the dust makes the particles hard and sharp edged. (Larger particles are either too big to become airborne or are filtered out by the body’s natural defense systems.)
Toward compliance with the silica dust standard
The good news is that Bosch has the tools to help construction professionals move toward OSHA compliance with the new crystalline silica regulations. PRO+GUARD™ dust solutions not only help limit exposure, but these tools can also boost productivity. An example is that Bosch dust extractors keep the air cleaner by using HEPA filters that capture 99.97 percent of dust particles.
The key is using the right tools for the job and employing a comprehensive dust-management system to ensure the utmost safety and productivity. Be sure that you watch the video to learn more about how the end-to-end solution can work for you.
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