As many of those in the construction industry may already know, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has amended existing standards for occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica (found in asphalt, brick, cement, concrete, drywall, grout, mortar, stone, sand and tile, just to name a few), and employers covered by the construction standard have until June 23, 2017 to comply with most of these new requirements. (The rule will become enforceable June 23, 2018 for the maritime and general industries.)
OSHA’s press release on March 24, 2016 stated the following:
“About 2.3 million men and women face exposure to respirable crystalline silica in their workplaces, including two million construction workers who drill and cut silica-containing materials such as concrete and stone, and 300,000 workers in operations such as brick manufacturing, foundries and hydraulic fracturing. Most employers can limit harmful dust exposure by using equipment that is widely available – generally using water to keep dust from getting into the air or a ventilation system to capture dust where it is created.”
And some information on the requirements:
“The evidence in the record for this rulemaking indicates that workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica are at increased risk of developing silicosis and other non-malignant respiratory diseases, lung cancer, and kidney disease. This final rule establishes a new permissible exposure limit of 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air (50 μg/m3) as an 8-hour time-weighted average in all industries covered by the rule.”
Luckily, Dewalt has added to their Perform and Protect line (introduced in 2012) and has created a dust management system for their tools that’s geared to get workers ready.
Jose Morales, Field Marketing Coordinator with Stanley Black & Decker, provided the following comments:
“Dewalt is committed to making a safer and more productive jobsite for our end users. Our Perform and Protect tools have safety features which focus on 3 important components: Vibration to reduce the impact towards the end user, Control which give the power back to the user if the tool binds and Dust collection.
Our dust collection tools have been designed to meet the silica regulations set forth by OSHA. We have a variety of attachments that will fit most existing power tools, including our competitors’. The shrouds connect to our HEPA vac which has 2 filters that alternate blowing out the dust to guarantee there is no loss of suction. Our HEPA vacs also have universal fitting to allow for other manufactures to use their own shrouds and attachments.
We have a few new products that will be hitting the market in 2017 that include, hollow bits, compact HEPA vacuums, and SDS Max hammer drill that will run off of our 60V batteries. We are working closely with our distribution partners to make sure our customers have the tools and attachments needed to become compliant with the new OSHA Silica regulation taking place June of 2017.”
The system has a lot of components and attachments and adapters that work together. So I want to highlight three combinations of tools/equipment with different applications to give you some examples of what we’re talking about.
Using a demolition hammer?
Take the Dewalt D25960K, and use it with the DWH053K Large Hammer Dust Extraction Kit, the DWV9000 Universal Quick Connector for Dust Extractors and the DWV010 8 Gallon HEPA Dust Extractor with Automatic Filter Cleaning.
The Dust Extraction Kit attaches to the demolition hammer, and the demolition hammer attaches to the vacuum with the quick connector.
The universal connection system for all Dewalt dust-compatible tools and accessories centers around the Universal Connector, which forms a secure, locking
connection its attachments.
What’s great about the HEPA Dust Extractor is that it has a cleaning feature that pulses every 30 seconds (without stopping) to clean the filter for continuous operations. And when used with the DWV9330 HEPA Filters (which are included with the vacuum), it meets the EPA Lead Related Renovations, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule of HEPA Vacuum. (The photo on the right shows the system in use with a rotary hammer.)
Here’s a breakdown of the vacuum:
And lastly, grinding…
**The DWV012 10 Gallon Wet/Dry HEPA Dust Extractor is another option. Here’s a short video highlighting this dust extractor/collector.
Pretty cool solutions, right?
For more information, you can download OSHA’s Quick Fact Sheet for Construction Regulation here.
(And don’t forget to use the approved respirator(s) for your applications!)