In April 2016, OSHA introduced the final standard 29 CFR 1910.1053 for Silica Permissible Exposure Levels. The new permissible exposure limit (PEL) is approximately half of what had been allowable in the past, which presents a heavy burden particularly on small, family-owned businesses.
OSHA mentions two types of silica in the standard, but the main emphasis is on crystalline silica, which exists as quartz, cristobalite, and tridymite. Businesses that use sand, like in the brick industry and the ceramics industry, need to be concerned because sand used in the process is 90% quartz.
Many industries have already spoken out against these directives from OSHA, saying that limiting silica to the PEL indicated is simply impossible. It is too expensive and will require too much effort, which will intrude upon productivity. However, there appears to be one thing everyone agrees on in the wake of these changes. Using traditional brooms, air hoses, or shovels to clean up a facility is no longer allowable. These methodologies kick up too much dust and increase the risk of someone outside of the direct working area being exposed to harmful silica particles.
Although the new OSHA standards present a massive obstacle for many industries, the fact is that Hi-Vac has been prepared for such stringent guidelines for decades. Our 400 Series is already equipped to be your strongest partner in the fight against crystalline silica particles.
There are a few key aspects of the 400 Series that make it perfect for this kind of work. First, the 400 Series offers the best air-to-cloth ratio in the industry. Adding a HEPA filter, which is an option for all Hi-Vac industrial vacuum systems, increases the effectiveness of the 400 Series that much more.
Additionally, no one wants to vent air outside the plant which would add even more restrictions. The 400 Series, like all Hi-Vac Products, cleans the air and exhausts it back into the facility. This means that the air coming from the 400 Series is actually cleaner than the surrounding atmosphere. Connecting the 400 to your central manifold system means that every work station can be accommodated without much effort from the labor force.
There is a lot on your plate. Moving your business to compliance with the new OSHA silica PEL is not just a question of keeping your facility clean. Everything about how you do business will be impacted in some way, whether it’s monitoring your employees’ health records or educating your labor force about what to do and what not to do. Why not invest in the fastest, safest, most efficient equipment for removing silica particles from your plant or foundry? For as low as $750/month leasing terms (renting terms also available) the ROI will be proven immediately.
If you already have an industrial vacuum system we will accept it as a trade-in to assist you in becoming OSHA-compliant as soon as possible.