How do we protect ourselves?
Recognize when you are working with a silica containing product, it’s pretty common in building materials
Once you recognize a hazard you can start to control exposure through:
• Elimination or Substitution: like sandblasting sand has been replaced with non silica materials
• Modification of Work Practices: This can be as easy as just working upwind of dust, good housekeeping, or using wet methods
• Containment and ventilation of dust: keeping dust from traveling to other work areas by hanging visqueen , or getting it into vacuums and filtering using dust collection on tools
• PPE: Is the last line of defense, and when it’s required you must be fit tested!
The new standard uses a mix of these approaches to help Construction crews meet the new Action limit (AL) of 25 micro grams/ m 3 , and Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 50 micro grams/m 3 . Keep in mind the Action limit and Permissible Exposure Limit are both calculated over 8 hour work days.