Work practices to reduce Silica Dust exposure

Supplement engineering controls, such as wet methods and local exhaust ventilation, with good work practices for controlling silica exposure.

  • Routinely maintain dust controls on tools and equipment.
  • Do not use dust-generating tools, such as saws and grinders, near other workers.
  • Stand so that the dusty air will not blow on you and other workers.
  • Wear disposable or washable protective clothing.
  • Remove dust using a vacuum with a high efficiency filter
  • Do not use compressed air to clean yourself, your clothes or your equipment.
  • Do not shake or slap dust off of clothing
  • Shower (if possible) and change into clean clothes before leaving the worksite.
  • Wash your hands before eating, drinking, smoking and going to the toilet.
  • Eat, drink and smoke away from the dusty area.
  • Park cars where they will not be contaminated with silica dust.

Description:

Supplement engineering controls, such as wet methods and local exhaust ventilation, with good work practices for controlling silica exposure.

  • Routinely maintain dust controls on tools and equipment.
  • Do not use dust-generating tools, such as saws and grinders, near other workers.
  • Stand so that the dusty air will not blow on you and other workers.
  • Wear disposable or washable protective clothing.
  • Remove dust using a vacuum with a high efficiency filter
  • Do not use compressed air to clean yourself, your clothes or your equipment.
  • Do not shake or slap dust off of clothing
  • Shower (if possible) and change into clean clothes before leaving the worksite.
  • Wash your hands before eating, drinking, smoking and going to the toilet.
  • Eat, drink and smoke away from the dusty area.
  • Park cars where they will not be contaminated with silica dust.
Silica dust contains both large particles that settle out quickly, and smaller particles that may remain in the air for a long time.  The smallest particles are not easily seen but enter the lungs readily.  Treat any areas where dust from cement, blocks, or other sicila contraining materials has recently been generated as still dusty, even if you can't see dust. 

Risks Addressed:

Silicosis and lung cancer due to exposure to crystalline silica dust

How Risks are Reduced:

Ways to reduce dust/silica inhalation without controlling/reducing dust that is released into the air.  While these practices may result is some exposure reduction, engineering controls that capure silica dust at the source are more reliable and preferred.


Effects on Productivity:

There is no significant positive or negative impact on productivity.


Additional Considerations:

Good work practices, ventilation, and wet methods may not completely control silica exposure.  Disposable filtering face piece respirators may be used to supplement controls.

Smoking may increase the lung damage done by silica.


Hazards Addressed:

  • Drywall, Glass & Floor Coverings
    • Tape, mud and sand drywall
  • Excavation & Demolition
    • Deconstruct building foundations
  • General Labor
    • Pave and patch concrete and asphalt
  • Heavy Equipment
    • Operate cranes and lifts
    • Operate earth-moving equipment
    • Operate stationary equipment
    • Operate transport equipment
    • Rig, load and transport materials and equipment
  • Masonry, Tile, Cement & Plaster
    • Chip, scrape and grind surfaces, or joints
    • Cut bricks, blocks, stone, concrete, tile or terrazzo
    • Mix cement, mortar, plaster, or grout
  • Paints & Coatings
    • Perform abrasive blasting
  • Pipes & Vessels
    • Cut and drill holes in structures prior to pipe installation
    • Cut, thread, hammer and bend pipes and vessel tubes
  • Reinforced Concrete
  • Residential Construction
  • Roofing

Availability

Return on Investment

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