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Power Tools for Professionals

Osha Silica Standard
OSHA Silica Dust Regulations

PROTECT YOURSELF & YOUR EMPLOYEES

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in Americaʼs workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica.

ENSURE JOBSITE COMPLIANCE

According to OSHAʼs website, the good news is that silicosis is 100% preventable! While using power tools with a dust attachment/accessory and dust extractors with the right filter, exposure to silica can be drastically reduced.

KEY PROVISIONS

  • Reduces the permissible limit (PEL) to 50 μg/m3 (micrograms of silica per cubic meter of air), averaged over an eight-hour day.
  • Requires employers to use:
    • Engineering controls (such as water or ventilation) to limit worker exposure to respirable silica dust to the PEL
    • Provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure
    • Limit worker access to high exposure areas
    • Develop a written exposure control plan
    • Train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures
    • Provide medical exams to monitor highly exposed workers and gives them information about their lung health
  • Establish and implement a written exposure control plan to identify tasks that involve exposure and methods used to protect workers, including procedures to restrict access to work areas where high exposures may occur. Also, employers need to designate a competent person to implement the written exposure control plan.
  • Provides flexibility to help employers — especially small businesses — protect workers from silica exposure.

Sanding-Flush

The new standard went into effect on September 23, 2016, and employers are required to comply with all obligations of the standard. OSHA enforcement dates differ by state and can be referenced by visiting https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/osp/index.html .

If your state does not have their own state plan, OSHA federal silica regulations will apply.

OSHA 1926.1153 TABLE 1 SILICA REGULATIONS FOR POWER TOOLS

TABLE 1 - SPECIFIED EXPOSURE CONTROL METHODS WHEN WORKING WITH MATERIALS CONTAINING CRYSTALLINE SILICA

Equipment/Task Engineering and Work Practice Control Methods Required Respiratory Protection and Minimum Assigned Protection Factor (APF)
≤ 4 hours/shift > 4 hours/shift
Handheld and Stand-Mounted
Drills (including impact and rotary
hammer drills).
Use drill equipped with commercially available shroud or cowling with 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 and a filter-cleaning mechanism.
Use a HEPA-filtered vacuum when cleaning holes
None None
Jackhammers and Handheld
Powered Chipping Tools
Use tool equipped with commercially available shroud and 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 and a filter-cleaning mechanism.
  • When used outdoors.
None APF 10
  • When used indoors or in an enclosed area.
APF 10 APF 10
Handheld Power Saws for Cutting Fibercement 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
Handheld Grinders for Mortar Removal (i.e., tuckpointing) Use grinder equipped with commercially available shroud
and dust collection system. Operate and maintain tool in
accordance with manufacturer's instructions to minimize
dust emissions.
Dust collector must provide 25 cubic feet per
minute (cfm) or greater of airflow per inch of wheel diameter and have a filter with 99% or greater efficiency and a cyclonic pre-separator or filter-cleaning mechanism.
APF 10 APF 25
Handheld Grinders for Uses Other than Mortar Removal Use grinder equipped with commercially available shroud
and dust collection system. Operate and maintain tool in
accordance with manufacturer's instructions to minimize
dust emissions.
Dust collector must provide 25 cubic feet per
minute (cfm) or greater of airflow per inch of wheel diameter and have a filter with 99% or greater efficiency and a cyclonic pre-separator or filter-cleaning mechanism.
  • When used outdoors.
None None
  • When used indoors or in an enclosed area.
None APF 10

SILICA & OSHA REFERENCES

By partnering with The Center For Construction Research & Training, they have provided a comprehensive website dedicated to working safely with silica. Here you can find the following resources and training materials to get you, your crew and jobsite fully prepared:

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