In the past couple of years, the number of deaths caused by exposure to silica dust has steadily reduced. This is because of the new rules to protect those at risk of silica dust exposure, such as ensuring workplaces are silica compliant. Here, we’ll look at why protection from silica exposure is important and how to ensure you are OSHA silica compliant.
Why You Need Protection from Silica Exposure
Inhaling silica dust particles through prolonged exposure poses significant health risks, which are fatal. These particles get trapped in the lung tissues, making it hard for the lung to take in oxygen, leading to silicosis. Silicosis, accompanied by fatigue and shortness of breath, leads to progressive and permanent lung damage. While it typically takes time for this disease to set in, heavy exposure can accelerate the effects. Unfortunately, there is no cure for silicosis. This is why it is important to have proper measures and equipment to remove dust from the air.
Machines Needed for Silica Protection
The OSHA-compliant machines are designed based on the dust they remove.
HEPA shop vacuum for new silica dust
HEPA Shop Vacuums are designed to remove dust produced by cutting stone. They collect dust straight from the source. With this machine, you can prevent dust particles produced through cutting, grinding, and drilling from being released into the air and posing a risk of exposure. These machines are portable, ensuring that the work at hand can go on while they collect the dust. In addition, you can use the machines based on the job being done. If, for example, the tasks involve a large amount of silica dust, a more powerful vacuum cleaner can be used to protect workers who are near the point of drilling. Being portable also means you only need one machine that can easily be transported and used where required. Mobile industrial vacuums include industrial shop vacuums and trailer-mounted industrial vacuums.
HEPA vacuums for silica dust buildup
In cases where the dust has not been collected at the source, the chances are dust particles have been emitted into the workplace environment. This emission can lead to dust build-up and accumulation. Dust accumulation poses a significant risk because it is easily combustible and can lead to dust explosions. In addition, when slightly disturbed, this bust can become airborne and inhaled by site workers. In such a case, one should avoid agitating the dust and use the right OSHA equipment, particularly an industrial HEPA Vacuum, to collect the dust. This machine can either be mounted on a trailer or skid-mounted. It also comes with handy accessories such as a vacuum hose that can allow one to collect dust from hard-to-reach areas.
Dust Collector units
When silica dust mixes with other types of dust, it can become airborne, making it deadlier. This implies that there’s a need to have machines and dust collectors with sufficient airflow to remove the dust from the environment. These machines can be portable, ultra-portable, and stationery. Ultra-portable dust collectors are a new design that can use gas or electricity. When deciding which of these machines to use, there is a lot more to consider, and we advise you to contact a specialist to help you out.
Silica dust exposure can lead to fatal diseases such as lung cancer and silicosis. However, by using equipment that is OSHA-compliant, you can ensure that you and your employees are protected from silica exposure.