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Silica Safety Requirements

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A presentation given during the 39th Annual NCPA Concrete Paving Workshop. By Michael Downey, Downey Consulting, Inc.

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Silica Safety Requirements

  1. 1. Silica Safety Requirements Presented by: Michael Downey Downey Consulting, Inc
  2. 2. Goals of Program • Give attendees an understanding of the new Requirements. • Know how to address issues at the jobsite
  3. 3. Health Effects of Crystalline Silica • Silicosis – Chronic, accelerated, acute – A continuing problem – Lung cancer – Tuberculosis – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder – Other • Immunologic disorders and autoimmune diseases • Renal disease • Stomach and other cancers
  4. 4. Symptoms and Signs of Chronic Silicosis NOTE: There may be no symptoms in the early stages. • As the disease progresses – Cough − Breathlessness − Weakness • Significant X-ray changes after 15-20 years of exposure
  5. 5. Symptoms of Related Illnesses (such as Tuberculosis)  Fever • Weight loss • Night sweats • Chest pains • Respiratory failure These symptoms can become worse over time, leading to death.
  6. 6. Crystalline Silica • SiO2 –silicon dioxide • Also known as “free silica” • Significantly more hazardous than amorphous silica • 3 mineralogical forms – Quartz—most common – Cristobalite – Tridymite
  7. 7. Table 1 Activities • Table 1 was created by OSHA and shows activities that if followed require no additional monitoring • All activities include wet methods of abatement or the use of HEPA vacuums to reduce/eliminate dust • All aspects of Table 1 must be followed or the company will be cited.
  8. 8. Construction Task or Equipment Operation Engineering and Work Practice Control Methods Required Respiratory Protection ≤ 4 hours /shift >4 hours /shift 1 Stationary masonry saws  Use saw equipped with integrated water delivery system that continuously feeds water to the blade.  Operate and maintain tool in accordance with manufacturer's instructions to minimize dust emissions. None None 2a Handheld power saws (any blade diameter) when used outdoors  Use saw equipped with integrated water delivery system that continuously feeds water to the blade.  Operate and maintain tool in accordance with manufacturer's instructions to minimize dust emissions. None N95 (or Greater Efficiency) respirator 2b Handheld power saws (any blade diameter) when used indoors or in an enclosed area  Use saw equipped with integrated water delivery system that continuously feeds water to the blade.  Operate and maintain tool in accordance with manufacturer's instructions to minimize dust emissions. N95 (or Greater Efficiency) respirator N95 (or Greater Efficiency) respirator 3 Handheld power saws for cutting fiber-cement board (with blade diameter of 8 inches or less) for tasks performed outdoors only  Use saw equipped with commercially available dust collection system.  Operate and maintain tool in accordance with manufacturer's instructions to minimize dust emissions.  Dust collector must provide the air flow recommended by the tool manufacturer, or greater, and have a filter with 99% or greater efficiency. None None 4a Walk-behind saws when used outdoors  Use saw equipped with integrated water delivery system that continuously feeds water to the blade.  Operate and maintain tool in accordance with manufacturer's instructions to minimize dust emissions. None None 4b Walk-behind saws when used indoors or in an enclosed area  Use saw equipped with integrated water delivery system that continuously feeds water to the blade.  Operate and maintain tool in accordance with manufacturer's instructions to minimize dust emissions. N95 (or Greater Efficiency) respirator N95 (or Greater Efficiency) respirator
  9. 9. Alternative Exposure Control Methods • OSHA is assuming an overexposure for all activities that involve dry cutting with no dust capture system. • Companies have to have data collected from an accredited testing company that shows the actual amount of respirable silica the employee(s) are exposed to. • Respiratory protection will then be selected based on this number
  10. 10. Action Level and PEL • Employees who are above the Permissible Exposure Level (50 μg/m3) must be protected. • Employees who are or may reasonably expected to be above the Action Level (25 μg/m3) must have their exposure assessed • Employees at or above these levels must have a Written exposure control plan
  11. 11. Action Level • If initial monitoring shows exposures below the action level, testing may be discontinued • If monitoring indicates that exposures are above the AL but at or below the PEL, the employer will repeat the monitoring within 6 months of the most recent monitoring. • Employer may discontinue monitoring if two consecutive measurements are found to be below the AL.
  12. 12. Permissible Exposure Level • If levels are above the PEL, the employer must repeat monitoring within three months of the most recent monitoring.
  13. 13. Notification of Testing • OSHA requires that employees are notified within 5 days of the employer’s receipt of testing results. • The notification must be in writing or posted in an area that is accessible to all affected employees. • If the levels are above the PEL, the employer must describe the corrective action(s) taken to reduce the affected employee(s) exposure below the PEL
  14. 14. Respiratory Protection • Employees cannot just wear disposable respirators when exposed to silica • The TWA (time weighted average) must be determined and an appropriate respirator selected based on the Assigned Protection Factor. • Disposable Respirators—APF 10 • Half Mask Respirators—APF 10 • Full Face Respirators—APF 50
  15. 15. Respiratory Protection • Employees who are required to wear a respirator by the standard (even disposable respirators) for more than 30 days a year are required to be put into a medical surveillance program
  16. 16. Goal of Silica Safety Program • Eliminate employee overexposure • Control health hazards associated with overexposure
  17. 17. Crystalline Silica PELs: “Bottom Line” Message • Whatever the worksite: The more crystalline silica there is in the dust, the less of the dust may be breathed
  18. 18. Ways to Reduce Exposure • Substitute materials that have no crystalline silica • Locate employees as far as possible from dust-generation source • Isolate employees OR the source – Control rooms – Enclosures – Barriers
  19. 19. Moving Employees Farther from Point of Exposure
  20. 20. Ways to Reduce Exposure (cont’d) • Use local exhaust ventilation (LEV systems) • Use tools with dust-collecting systems
  21. 21. Methods for Hardie Board • Shears or dust collection systems work
  22. 22. Ways to Reduce Exposure (cont’d) • Use wet methods – Cutting – Chipping – Drilling – Sawing – Grinding • Use Floor sweeping compound • Clean surfaces with HEPA vacuums or wet sweeping—no compressed air!
  23. 23. Controls—Wet Methods
  24. 24. Ways to Reduce Exposure (cont’d) • And if other methods are not sufficient— Use Proper Respiratory Protection
  25. 25. Respiratory Protection
  26. 26. Management of Subs • Subs who generate silica – Masonry Contractors – Finishers – Concrete Cutters – Caulkers • Do not allow dry cutting, open cabs, leaf blowers • Separate these activities from other workers
  27. 27. Training • Employers are to designate a person who is in charge of the Silica program • Employers must ensure that employees can “demonstrate knowledge and understanding” of the Silica program • OSHA states that the employer must even ensure that the health care providers they use for anything related to Silca have the OSHA standards
  28. 28. Summary • Exposure to Silica can be dangerous • Dry methods of abrasive cutting, drilling or blasting are pretty much against OSHA • A program/plan must be implemented by each company that has exposure to Silica • Training is required for all workers who are exposed.
  29. 29. Questions?

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