Walk-Behind Masonry Saws with Wet Dust Suppression

A walk-behind masonry saw with wet dust suppression is used to cut masonry material and delivers water to the blade and dust source.

Description:

Cutting concrete and other masonry materials generates a large amount of dust that may contain high levels of crystalline silica and create a hazard for everyone in the vicinity. Increasingly, nano-enabled masonry products are being used in construction that can also expose workers to inhaling engineered nanomaterials when the products are being cut.Concrete that contains nano-size titanium dioxide is an example. Wet suppression is a control option for dust generated while cutting masonry materials with walk-behind masonry saws. These controls use a pump or line pressure to deliver water to the saw blade where it combines with particles and reduces airborne dust levels.  Without dust controls, user and bystander exposures are almost certain to exceed OSHA limits for total dust (15mg/m3) and exceeded limits for crystalline silica.

If properly designed and used, exposures can be reduced 50 to 95%. If use is brief and intermittent, this may reduce exposures enough that a respiratory protection program isn’t required. Continuous use may exceed the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit, even with the use of wet dust suppression, however.

EDCO, Inc. 14-inch down-cut walk-behind concrete/asphalt saws with water connection

  • Used for short-run slab cutting, contraction joints, patch repairs in asphalt, traffic loop installation and trenching
  • Cost: $2,054 (optional water tank is an additional $221)
  • Blade diameter: 14 inches
  • Maximum cutting depth: 4 ¾ inches
  • Sound pressure level: greater than 85 dBA and likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
Models
Power Requirements
Horsepower
Unloaded Blade Speed, RPM
Weight, pounds
SK-14-9H
gasoline
9
3,600
190
SK-14-11H
gasoline
11
3,600
190
SK-14-13H
gasoline
13
3,600
190
 
EDCO, Inc. 18-inch down-cut walk-behind concrete/asphalt saws with water connection or tank
  • Used for short-run slab cutting, contraction joints, patch repairs in asphalt, traffic loop installation and trenching
  • Blade diameter: 18 inches
  • Maximum cutting depth: 6 ¾ inches
  • Sound pressure level: greater than 85 dBA and likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
Models
Costs*
Power Requirements
Horsepower
Unloaded Blade Speed, RPM
Weight, pounds
DS-18-13H
$2,549
gasoline
13
3,000
254
DS-18-5B
$2,549
230 volts, single phase, 19.5 amps
5
2,880
280
DS-18-5B
$2,549
230 volts, three phase, 12 amps or 460 volts, three phase, 6 amps
5
2,880
280
 
EDCO, Inc. 20-inch self-propelled walk-behind concrete/asphalt saws with water connection
  • Used for Highway, road and bridge deck repair, utility installation and traffic loop installation
  • Maximum blade diameter: 20 inches (16 inches for SS-20-13H)
  • Maximum cutting depth: 6 ¾ inches
  • Sound pressure level: Greater than 92 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average is 90 dBA)
Models
Costs
Power Requirements
Horsepower
Blade Speed, RPM
Weight, pounds
SS-20-20H
$6,153
gasoline
20
2,760
458
SS-20-13H
$5,330
gasoline
13
3,600
438
SS-20-7.5B
$5,531
230 volts, three phase, 17.4 amps or 460 volts, three phase, 8.7 amps
7.5
2,835
465
SS-20-10B
$5,703
230 volts, three phase, 23 amps or 460 volts, three phase, 11.5 amps
10
2,835
478
SS-20-25P
$9,993
propane
25
2,760
498
 
EDCO, Inc. 26-inch self-propelled walk-behind concrete/asphalt saws with water connection
  • Used for Highway, road and bridge deck repair, utility installation airport construction and traffic loop installation
  • Maximum blade diameter: 26 inches (blade guards that will accommodate 14 to 30 inch blades are available)
  • Maximum cutting depth: 10-1/2 inches
  • Sound pressure level: Greater than 92 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average is 90 dBA)
Models
Costs
Power Requirements
Horsepower
Blade Speed, RPM
Weight, pounds
SS-26-38K
$12,350
gasoline
38
2,091
1,040
SS-26-15L
$13,430
460 volts, three phase, 17.5 amps
15
1,725
970
SS-26-31D
$23,899
diesel
31
2,129
1,225
 
EDCO, Inc. 36-inch self-propelled walk-behind concrete/asphalt saws with water connection
  • Used for Highway, road and bridge deck repair, utility installation airport construction and traffic loop installation
  • Maximum blade diameter: 36 inches (blade guards for smaller blades are available)
  • Maximum cutting depth: 15 inches
  • Sound pressure level: Greater than 92 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average is 90 dBA)
Models
Costs
Power Requirements
Horsepower
Blade Speed, RPM
Weight, pounds
SS-36-61D
$26,970
diesel
61
1,675
1,588
SS-36-61PC*
$28,071
diesel
61
2,358
1,775
*Plunge cut saw
 
MK Diamond Products, Inc. CX-3 series walk-behind concrete saws with water connection
  • Used for small to medium concrete cutting jobs
  • Blade diameter: 14 inches (12-inch blade is optional)
  • Maximum cutting depth: 5-1/2 inches (with a 14-inch blade)
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
Models
Costs
Power Requirements
Horsepower
Blade Speed, RPM
Weight, pounds
CX-3 H
$1,554
gasoline
6.5
3,600
119
CX-3 R
$1,222
gasoline
6
3,600
117
*Blade speed is for a 14-inch blade
 
MK Diamond Products, Inc. 9000 series walk-behind concrete saws with water connection
  • Used for small to medium concrete cutting jobs
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
Models
Costs
Power Requirements
Horsepower
Maximum Blade Diameter, inches
Maximum Cutting Depth, inches
Blade Speed, RPM
Weight, pounds
MK-9136 H
$2,691
Gasoline
11
16
5-5/8
3,600
238
MK-9514 E1
$2,995
230 volts, single phase
5
14
4-5/8
3,450
245
MK-9514 E3
$2,782
230 volts, three phase, or 460 volts, three phase
5
14
4-5/8
3,450
255
 
MK Diamond Products, Inc. 4000 series 35 horsepower gasoline self-propelled walk-behind concrete saws with water connection
  • Used for cutting concrete
  • Power: 35 horsepower gasoline
  • Weight: 1,150 pounds
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
Models
Costs
Blade Diameter, inches
Maximum Cutting Depth, inches
Blade Speed, RPM
MK-4024
$16,000
24
9-1/2
1,900
MK-4030
$17,118
30
12-1/2
1,900
MK-4036
$17,118
36
15
1,650
 
MK Diamond Products, Inc. 4000 series 30 horsepower diesel self-propelled walk-behind concrete saws with water connection
  • Used for cutting concrete
  • Power: 30 horsepower diesel
  • Weight: 1,190 pounds
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
Models
Costs
Blade Diameter, inches
Maximum Cutting Depth, inches
Blade Speed, RPM
MK-4024D
$17,036
24
9-1/2
1,800
MK-4030D
$17,663
30
12-1/2
1,800
MK-4036D
$17,663
36
15
1,500
 
MK Diamond Products, Inc. 4000 series 48 horsepower gasoline self-propelled walk-behind concrete saws with water connection
  • Used for cutting concrete
  • Power: 48 horsepower gasoline
  • Weight: 1,120 pounds
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
Models
Costs
Blade Diameter, inches
Maximum Cutting Depth, inches
Blade Speed, RPM
MK-4024HY
$22,380
24
9-1/2
1,900
MK-4030HY
$22,589
30
12-1/2
1,900
MK-4036HY
$22,767
36
15
1,650
 
MK Diamond Products, Inc. 4000 series 44 horsepower diesel self-propelled walk-behind concrete saws with water connection
  • Used for cutting concrete
  • Power: 44 horsepower diesel
  • Weight: 1,080 pounds
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
Models
Costs
Blade Diameter, inches
Maximum Cutting Depth, inches
Blade Speed, RPM
MK-4024KB
$22,380
24
9-1/2
1,800
MK-4030KB
22,589
30
12-1/2
1,800
MK-4036KB
$22,767
36
15
1,550
 
MK Diamond Products, Inc. 3000 series walk-behind concrete saws with water connection
  • Used for concrete cutting
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
Models
Costs
Power Requirements
Horsepower
Maximum Blade Diameter, inches
Maximum Cutting Depth, inches
Blade Speed, RPM
Weight, pounds
MK-3024V
$9,795
gasoline
35
24
9-1/2
1,900
650
MK-3024K
$10,395
gasoline
38
24
9-1/2
1,900
650
MK-3030V
$9,865
gasoline
35
30
12-1/2
1,900
650
MK-3030K
$10,465
gasoline
38
30
12-1/2
1,900
650
MK-3024B
$13,220
230 volts, three phase,
20
24
9-1/2
2,020
700
$13,100
460 volts, three phase
MK-3030B
$13,920
230 volts, three phase
20
30
12-1/2
2,020
705
$13,200
460 volts, three phase
 
MK Diamond Products, Inc. 1600 series walk-behind concrete saws with water connection
  • Used for cutting concrete
  • Water supply: ¾-inch hose connection (water tank is available)
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
Models
Costs*
Power Requirements
Horsepower
Maximum Blade Diameter, inches
Maximum Cutting Depth, inches
Blade Speed, RPM
Weight, pounds
MK-1613H
$2,700
Gasoline
11
18
6-5/8
2,600
223
MK-1609H
$2,499
Gasoline
7
16
5-5/8
3,600
210
MK-1610B
$3,290
230 volts, three phase, or 460 volts, three phase
10
18
6-5/8
NA
275
*Cost and weight may vary depending on the options selected.
NA = not available
 
MK Diamond Products, Inc. 20 series walk-behind concrete sawswith water connection
  • Used for cutting concrete
  • Water supply: ¾-inch hose connection (water tank and pump are available)
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
Models
Costs
Power Requirements
Horsepower
Maximum Blade Diameter, inches
Maximum Cutting Depth, inches
Blade Speed, RPM
Weight, pounds
MK-2013HE
$4,039
gasoline
11
16
5-5/8
3,400
290
MK-2013HSP
$3,705
gasoline
11
16
5-5/8
3,400
310
MK-2020HSP
$5,427
gasoline
18
20
7-5/8
2,850
392
MK-2024HSP
$5,557
gasoline
18
20
7-5/8
2,850
398
MK-2020KSP
$6,402
propane
20
20
7-5/8
2,863
417
 
CS Unitec, Inc. CSR 150 pneumatic walk-behind masonry saw with water connection
  • Used for joint sawing, floor sawing, trenching, road repair and other cutting applications
  • Cost: $3,360
  • Blade diameter: Up to 20 inches
  • Blade speed: 2,900 RPM
  • Maximum cutting depth: 7 inches
  • Weight: 107 pounds
  • Water supply: ¾-inch hose connection
  • Alternative dust control: port for use with vacuum
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
 
Husqvarna FS 8400 D flat saws (road saws) with water connection
  • Used to cut concrete or asphalt floors, driveways, highways, streets and runways
  • Fuel: diesel
  • Engine horsepower: 84
  • Water supply: ¾-inch hose connection (water pump kit is available)
  • Sound pressure level: 95 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average is 90 dBA)
Models
Costs*
Maximum Blade Diameter, inches
Maximum Cutting Depth, inches
Blade Shaft Speed, RPM
Weight, pounds*
FS 8400 D 26
$29,531
26
10-1/2
1,800
2,000
FS 8400 D 30
$29,705
30
12-1/2
1,600
2,020
FS 8400 D 36
$29,850
36
15
1,350
2,050
FS 8400 D 42
$30,110
42
17-1/2
1,180
2,080
FS 8400 D 48
$30,371
48
20
1,080
2,140
FS 8400 D 60
$41,120
60
25
815
2,390
*Cost and weight may vary depending on the options selected. Options include but are not limited to 3 speed gear box, electric tracking system and blade clutch.
 
Husqvarna FS 6600 D flat saws (road saws) with water connection
  • Used to cut concrete or asphalt floors, driveways, highways, streets and runways
  • Fuel: diesel
  • Horsepower: 66
  • Water supply: ¾-inch hose connection (water pump kit is available)
  • Sound pressure level: 95 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average is 90 dBA)

Models
Costs*
Maximum Blade Diameter, inches
Maximum Cutting Depth, inches
Blade Speed, RPM
Weight, pounds*
FS 6600 D 20
$24,274
20
7-5/8
2,400
1,789
FS 6600 D 26
$24,335
26
10-1/2
1,800
1,871
FS 6600 D 30

Hilti DSH-FSC Gas Saw Floor Cart and DSH 700/900 Hand-held gas saw

  • Used to cut concrete or asphalt floors, driveways, highways, streets and runways
  • Fuel: diesel
  • DSH-FSC Gas Saw Floor Cart: constructed from heavy duty steel with a gravity feed water container that allows the cart to be portable while still providing wet dust suppression; can be combined with the DSC 700/900 hand-held gas saws

Models

Costs*

Maximum Blade Diameter, inches

Maximum Cutting Depth, inches

Blade Speed, RPM

Weight, pounds*

DSH 700

$1,199.99

14

3.9

3,000

24.86

DSH 900

N/A

16

4.9

3,000

25.74

STIHL TS 410/420/700/800 and Cutquik Cart Kits with water tank

  • Used to cut concrete or asphalt floors, driveways, highways, streets and runways
  • Fuel: diesel
  • STIHL Cutquik Cart Kit: includes a water container that allows the cart to provide wet dust suppression; can be combined with the STIHL TS 410/420/700/800 hand-held gas saws; mounting kits must be purchased separately.

Models

Costs*

Maximum Blade

Diameter, inches

Maximum Cutting

Depth, inches

Blade Speed, RPM

Weight, pounds*

TS 410

$895.00

12

3.9

5,350

20.7

TS 420

$999.00

14

4.9

5,350

21.2

TS 700

$1,169.95

14

4.9

5,350

25.6

TS 800

$1,399.00

16

5.6

4,600

28.7

Wacker Neuson BFS 614, BFS 914, and BFS 1318 with water connection

  • Used for cuts in asphalt or concrete
  • Fuel: gasoline

Models

Costs

Maximum Blade

Diameter, inches

Maximum Cutting

Depth, inches

Blade Speed, RPM

Weight, pounds

BFS 614

1,399.97

14

4.9

4,000

136

BFS 914

2,199.97

14

5

2,200

183

BFS 1318

2,529.97

18

6.5

2,200

207

 


Risks Addressed:

Silica dust exposure may cause silicosis or lung scarring with prolonged exposure.  Silicosis is an incurable, sometimes fatal, disease. Silica also causes lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica is 0.05 mg/m3 as an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA). The NIOSH-recommended exposure limit (REL) is 0.05 mg/m3 as time-weighted average concentration for up to a 10-hour workday during a 40-hour workweek. 

Another less understood, but emerging hazard is engineered nanomaterials. Incredibly small particles are being added to a broad range of construction products to improve performance, but animal toxicity tests indicate a need for closer scrutiny.  There is no evidence yet that engineered nanomaterials have caused harm in exposed workers. However, it is most important that exposures be limited and that precautionary approaches be used to reduce exposure and protect construction workers from the potential hazards of engineered nanomaterials. Nano-size ultrafine titanium dioxide, which can be present in nano-enabled masonry products, has been found to cause inflammation of the lungs and lung cancer in lab animals. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has determined that ultrafine titanium dioxide should be considered a potential occupational carcinogen.  Other engineered nanomaterials that may be present in nano-enabled construction materials used in masonry work could also have the potential to cause harm when inhaled by construction workers. Cutting nano-enabled concrete roofing tiles without engineering controls can generate excessive amounts of airborne dust that if inhaled by workers could increase the risk of developing respiratory disease (West GH, et al 2016).

OSHA has no specific regulation or Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for any engineered nanomaterial. However, NIOSH has a recommended exposure limit (REL) for ultrafine titanium dioxide of 0.3 mg/m3 as a time-weighted average (TWA) concentration for up to 10 hours/day during a 40-hour week. The intent of the REL is to lower the risk to workers of the potential for developing lung cancer.


How Risks are Reduced:

The saw blades are partially enclosed in shrouds with water spray nozzles which are generally located near the top of the blade.  When water is pumped through the nozzle, it combines with particles near the point of dust generation and, due to increased weight, the now larger particles settle to the ground.  Silica and dust are only hazardous if inhaled and are not hazardous for skin contact.  As long as the dust does not become airborne, the hazard is reduced.

In a review of NIOSH sampling data, Linch concluded “systems using water on the saw blade greatly reduce the amount of respirable dust generated.”

In a study of stationary masonry saws, Yereb et al. concluded “wet cutting substantially reduces worker exposures to silica dust, but does not entirely eliminate them.” Beamer et al. and Meeker et al. came to similar conclusions in their separate but similar work with stationary masonry saws.

There are no reported studies specifically evaluating the effectiveness of wet dust suppression methods in controlling construction worker exposure to engineered nanomaterials in nano-enabled masonry products when using walk-behind masonry saws. However, because wet dust suppression methods with walk-behind masonry saws have been demonstrated to be very effective in reducing exposures to respirable dust and silica, it is expected that wet cutting will also be effective in reducing worker exposure to engineered nanomaterials as well.


Effects on Productivity:

Wet dust suppression systems can have either positive or negative effects on productivity, but definitely improve the quality of the work by suppressing large amounts of airborne dust, which allows a cleaner, more efficient means of masonry cutting.

Dust suppression also reduces site cleanup times. Dust suppression avoids exposing other workers, members of the public, adjacent property, cars and building occupants, which can increase liability and time-consuming disputes. Improved worker comfort is a result of reduced airborne dust which may in turn result in less fatigue for the worker and greater productivity. In some cases, particularly where saw use is intermittent, wet dust suppression may be adequate to reduce the need to wear a respirator, and the need for an employer respiratory protection program.

Some additional issues should be considered. Time may be required to allow masonry materials to dry after cutting and before use, which will depend on the material, the amount of water used and the application. In addition to electrical power requirements, the saw needs to be located near a source of water.


Additional Considerations:

The use of water controls may result in wet and slippery ground and walking surfaces. During cold weather this may lead to the formation of ice and an increased risk of slips, trips and falls. Cutting debris that is not removed from the work area while wet may become airborne once dried, posing an inhalation hazard to anyone in the area. Maintaining a work area free of debris and excess water reduces the risk of these hazards.

The use of water as a dust control increases the risk of shock when electricity is used in the same area. Electrical cords and extensions must be rated for the tool's power requirements, be regularly inspected, replaced when damaged, and used in combination with ground fault interrupt circuits.

The use of gasoline-powered equipment poses the risk of carbon monoxide exposure, particularly in areas where airflow is reduced. Steps to control exposure are important because the gas is invisible, odorless and tasteless. Poisoning by carbon monoxide can occur quickly indoors, but working outdoors does not ensure operators won’t be overcome. Small, inexpensive personal monitors should be worn by the operator to warn of unacceptable exposures.

Walk-behind masonry saws frequently generate sound levels that are greater than 90 decibels, the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL), and hazardous. Hearing protection should be worn when using masonry saws unless an industrial hygienist has conducted noise monitoring and indicated that hearing protection is not required.

As is the case with any construction equipment, users should follow manufacturer safety recommendations and comply with any applicable local, state or federal regulations.
 


Contributors:

Bruce Lippy, PhD, CIH - CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training
Michael R. Cooper - Aria Environmental, Inc.
Bill Kojola, MS


Hazards Addressed:

Availability

Husqvarna Portasaw FS 8400/6600/4800/4600/4400 D, 3500 G, 3500 E flat saws; FS 500/400/309 floor saws
To obtain information, visit http://www.husqvarna.com/us/construction or contact 1-800-700-5919

EDCO, Inc. Walk-Behind 14/18-inch down-cut and Self-Propelled 20/26/24/36-inch concrete/asphalt saws
To obtain information, visit http://edcoinc.com or contact 1-800-638-3326 info@edcoinc.com

CS Unitec, Inc. CSR 150 Pneumatic Walk-Behind masonry saw with vacuum connection
To obtain information, visit http://www.csunitec.com or contact 1-800-700-5919 info@csunitec.com

Wacker Neuson BFS 614, BFS 914, BFS 1318 with water connection
To obtain information, visit Wacker Neuson or contact 1-800-770-0957 sales.us@wackerneuson.com

MK Diamond CX-3, 9000, 4000, 3000, 1600, 20 series Walk-Behind concrete saws
To obtain information, visit http://www.diamondproducts.com or contact 1-800-321-5336

Return on Investment

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your specific application, please visit our Return on Investment Calculator. While a specific ROI example has not been developed for this particular solution, the ROI Calculator provides a useful tool and guidance on how to generate your own on investment analysis.