Stationary Stone Polishers with Wet Dust Suppression

A stationary stone polisher with wet dust suppression is used to shape and polish stone and delivers water to the source of dust.

Description:

Polishing stone creates fine dust that workers can inhale.  Many common stones, such as granite, are composed primarily of crystalline silica, which if inhaled can cause lung disease and cancer.  Using water to suppress the dust may be easier than using local exhaust ventilation in some circumstances and is an important dust control option to consider.

Wet methods can extend tool life, improve visibility, and reduce dust exposure.  No evaluation has been made to determine the amount of dust generated by these particular brands and models of polishers, or the effectiveness of these water dust suppression systems.

MK Diamond Products, Inc. MKDX Profile Milling Machine

  • Used for rough shaping and polishing both bevel and bullnose profiles on marble, porcelain or granite tile and stone up to 14 inches in length.
  • Cost: $2,450 to $2,579 (verified 10/2009)
  • Power requirements: 120 volts, 18 amps
  • Maximum polishing disc diameter: 4 inches
  • Arbor speed: 2,125 RPM
  • Weight: 168 pounds
  • Water tank capacity: 3 gallons
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
 
 
 
Raimondi Tools USA Bull Dog Bullnose Machine
  • Used for bullnosing and beveling ceramic tile, marble, porcelain and granite up to 24 inches in length.
  • Cost: $ 2,700 to $2,995 (verified 10/2009)
  • Power requirements: 115 volts, 17 amps, single phase or 230 volts, 8.5 amps, single phase
  • Motor: 1.3 horsepower
  • Polishing wheel diameter: 4-3/4 inches
  • Radius of cut: 5/16, 3/8 or 5/8 inches
  • Wheel speed: 5,370 RPM
  • Weight: 132 pounds
  • Water tank capacity: 8.7 gallons
  • Sound pressure level: 101 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average is 90 dBA)
 
 
 
Ghines Systhema Multifunctional Manual Stoneworking Unit
  • Used for honing and polishing vertical and inclined stone surfaces up to 3.9 inches thick
  • Cost: $51,522 (verified 10/2009)
  • Electrical power requirements: 230 volts, three phase, 21 amps
  • Air requirements: 16 cubic feet per minute at 90 pounds per square inch
  • Spindle speed: 1,500 to 12,500 RPM
  • Weight: 2,640 pounds
  • Water supply requirements: 4 gallons per minute at 58 pounds per square inch
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)

Ghines Systar Multifunctional Manual Stoneworking Unit
  • Used for polishing gemstones, rock materials, marble and granite
  • Cost: $34,813 (verified 10/2009)
  • Power requirements: 230 volts, single phase, 18 amps or 230 volts, three phase, 17 amps
  • Air requirements: 4.2 cubic feet per minute at 6 bar
  • Water supply requirements: 4 gallons per minute at 58 pounds per square inch
  • Spindle speed: 1,500 to 7,000 RPM
  • Weight: 1,980 pounds
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)

 
US Granite Machinery Flying Flat Edge Polishing Machine
  • Used for flat polishing edges on marble, granite and engineered stone between 0.8 and 2.3 inches thick and flat polishing at up to 3 feet per minute.
  • Cost: call manufacturer at 1-800-257-3680 for a quote
  • Electrical power requirements: 240 or 480 volts, 3 phases
  • Air requirements: 3 to 5 cubic feet per minute at 90 pounds per square inch
  • Water use: 15 to 25 gallons per minute
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but may exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)

US Granite Machinery TE-Experience Edge Profiling and Polishing Machine
  • Used for detailing, profiling and polishing edges of marble, granite and engineered stone between ¾ and 4 inches thick.
  • Cost: call manufacturer at 1-800-257-3680 for a quote
  • Electrical power requirements: 240 or 480 volts, 3 phases
  • Air requirements: 3 to 5 cubic feet per minute at 90 pounds per square inch
  • Water use: 25 to 35 gallons per minute
  • Weight: 9,200 pounds
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but may exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
 
 
US Granite Machinery Flying Bull Edge Profiling and Polishing Machine
  • Used for detailing, profiling and polishing edges of marble, granite and engineered stone between ¾ and 4 inches thick.
  • Cost: call manufacturer at 1-800-257-3680 for a quote
  • Electrical power requirements: 240 or 480 volts, 3 phases
  • Air requirements: 3 to 5 cubic feet per minute at 90 pounds per square inch
  • Water supply requirements: 25 to 35 gallons per minute
  • Weight: 7,600 pounds
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but may exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
 
 
US Granite Machinery RCM Multihead Edge Profiling and Polishing Machine
  • Used for detailing, profiling and polishing edges of marble, granite and engineered stone between ¾ and 2.3 inches thick.
  • Cost: call manufacturer at 1-800-257-3680 for a quote
  • Electrical power requirements: 240 or 480 volts, 3 phases
  • Air requirements: 3 to 5 cubic feet per minute at 90 pounds per square inch
  • Water supply requirements: 25 to 35 gallons per minute
  • Weight: 6,600 pounds
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but may exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
 
 
Barranca Diamond Products Fireball Sphere Grinding Machine with wet dust suppression
  • Used for grinding and polishing spheres from 2 to 8 inches in diameter
  • Cost: $3,910 (verified 10/2009)
  • Electrical power requirements: 120 volts, 3 amps
  • Shaft speed: 50 to 120 RPM
  • Weight: 650 pounds
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)
 
 
Barranca Diamond Products GP8 Diamond Wheel Super Cab Maker and Polisher
  • Used for grinding and polishing small pieces of stone
  • Cost: $1,495 to $2,788 (verified 10/2009)
  • Electrical power requirements:
  • Motor speed: 1,725 RPM
  • Weight: 140 pounds
  • Sound pressure level: Not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)

Risks Addressed:

 

Polishing stone containing crystalline silica, such as granite, is a high dust activity that in the absence of controls would place workers at risk of lung disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung scarring and silicosis with prolonged exposure. Silicosis is an incurable, sometimes fatal disease. Such disease is well documented in the Vermont granite quarries and stone cutting sheds, and in construction operations. The NIOSH-recommended exposure limit (REL) is 0.05 mg/m3 as a time-weighted average concentration for up to a 10-hour workday during a 40-hour workweek. This is one-half of the OSHA standard when the dust is pure silica, but still twice the ACGIH-recommended threshold limit value (TLV) of 0.025 mg/m3.  

How Risks are Reduced:

 

Water is delivered to the tools or polishing pads and wets dust created by abrasive polishing of stone. Silica in the masonry material is only hazardous if it is inhaled and is not hazardous for skin contact.  As long as the dust does not become airborne, the hazard is reduced.  The extent to which these specific machines with controls are effective in meeting recommended exposure limits has not been evaluated.

Using water will visibly suppress dust, but the extent that it reduces the small, respirable particles is unclear, without testing. Although exposure is not reduced to zero, substantial reduction is expected. This is dependent on the amount of water used, how effectively it prevents suspension of particles in the air, rotational speed of the polisher and the extent to which workers are exposed to resuspended dust after it dries. While there is no published sampling data on these specific tools, evidence indicates exposure to respirable silica can be significantly reduced through the use of wet methods.

In a study of granite processing facilities, Wickman and Middendorf stated that “the workplace controls, which are typically wet methods, implemented in the granite industry have been generally effective in reducing employees' exposures to below the OSHA PEL.” They recommended that “use of these controls should be implemented and enforced in other workplaces, such as rock drilling and abrasive cutting of concrete, where silica exposures remain problematic.”  In a survey of silica exposure during fabrication of granite countertops, Simcox et al. concluded “wet processes significantly reduced worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica and, in all cases, to below the state of Washington’s PEL of 0.1 mg/m3.”

Effects on Productivity:

Using wet dust suppression with stationary stone polishers is expected to improve productivity by increasing visibility, reducing work site cleanup, reducing worker cleanup, and increasing the useful life of tools and polishing pads which reduces costs and time spent changing tools and pads. 

Dust suppression also avoids exposing other workers, members of the public, adjacent property, 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 polisher 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.

Additional Considerations:

The use of water controls may result in wet and slippery ground and walking surfaces. This may result in an increased risk of slips, trips and falls. Polishing debris that is not bagged and 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 will reduce 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. Stone polishers may generate sound levels that are greater than 90 decibels, the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL), and hazardous.  Hearing protection should be worn when using stone polishers 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.

Hazards Addressed:

Availability

Ghines Multifunctional Manual Stoneworking Units
To obtain information, visit http://www.ghines.com or contact 1-800-648-7229 ghines@alpha-tools.com

Raimondi Tools USA Bull Dog Bullnose Machine
To obtain information, visit http://www.raimondiusa.com or contact 1-800-625-6686

US Granite Machinery Polishing Machines
contact 1-800-257-3680 info@usgmsales.com

MK Diamond MK-DX Profile Milling Machine
To obtain information, visit http://www.mkdiamond.com or contact 1-800-321-5336

Barranca Diamond Products GP8 Diamond Wheel Super Cab Maker Polisher and Fireball Sphere Grinding Machine with wet dust suppression
To obtain information, visit http://www.barrancadiamond.com or contact 1-310-523-5867 cs@barrancadiamond.com

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.