Granite, concrete, sand, brick, and mortar are just a few of the everyday building supplies that include crystalline silica. Several studies have shown that breathing in the dust made by working with all these materials can cause serious health problems, like lung cancer. Avoiding costly fines isn’t the only reason to take precautions against silica dust exposure on the work site; following BossTek dust safety guidelines can also assist maintain the long-term health and productivity of your staff. Whether you’re a homeowner renovating or a construction manager, you still have to know how to avoid this hazardous dust.
Here are four strategies for preventing silica dust buildup.
How can I reduce the risks of silica dust inhalation?
Following OSHA’s specific safety and health requirements involving crystalline silica is the first step to decreasing silica dust in the air. These regulations can change based on the equipment to be used and the nature of the activity being performed. Below are some guidelines for safety and silica dust control:
Use a HEPA-filtered vacuum to clean up.
Even after you’re done working with silica dust, the particles can linger in the air and on surfaces. Small particles, such as silica dust, can be captured by a HEPA filter and removed at a rate of 99.7%. If you’re going to work with material containing crystalline silica, consider buying a HEPA-filtered vacuum. Also, take in between breaks to clean up.
Keep the space well-ventilated
Ventilation is crucial for minimizing silica dust. Simply opening a window won’t do the trick, and it may even put passersby at risk from the minute amounts of silica dust that escape. Portable dust collectors come in a variety of sizes and are the preferable choice. The expense of renting one may seem high at first but think about the alternative: paying for expensive medical care for the rest of your life.
Always wear safety gear
When working with crystalline silica-containing materials, you must wear adequate safety equipment. Everyone who will be working on or near the products, or even just close to them, should wear a respirator. And keep in mind that a respirator’s seal depends on how snugly it fits on the face. Putting up with some initial discomfort could save you from having to deal with permanent lung damage, so it’s something you should consider doing.
With an enclosure, you can stop dust from spreading
When a construction site is in an area with a lot of foot traffic, people may breathe in silica dust that is released into the air. You can use an enclosure to keep the dust in one place and stop it from spreading. The protective case keeps dust and other small particles out and does a good job of reducing noise. The enclosure’s durable and transportable aluminum structure is set on wheels, and it has a rear hole for connecting to an extraction system for effective dust suppression.
In the end, the best way to avoid silica dust is to not use any products that contain crystalline silica. If it’s not possible, the above four tips can help reduce your exposure to this potential health risk.