In order to choose the most appropriate silica dust preventative BossTek measures for your workplace, you must consider the nature of your business, the nature of the tasks performed there, and the potential for harm. To safeguard your employees from silica dust exposure, you will likely need to implement a number of control measures. You will probably also need air and health monitoring programs to ensure your dust control methods are effective and your workers are safe.
Keep workers and others away from silica dust
Silica dust exposure can be prevented through isolation. The most effective isolation controls are physical barriers that keep workers away from silica dust. You can also put up barriers around automated operations to protect workers from silica dust. Employees should avoid fabricating products that contain silica wherever possible at the installation site. Modifications should therefore be done outdoors in a defined area using engineered dust control solutions like wet techniques and dust collection systems.
This process involves exchanging a potentially dangerous product or chemical for one that poses less of a threat. The worksite and the duties performed by employees will determine how well silica and silica-containing items can be substituted. Again, silica’s natural occurrence might make substitution impractical, as could the inability to produce the final product or provide the service. Avoiding harmful silica dust exposure may be as simple as switching to a different product.
Control measures for silica-containing products
According to research, even when wet procedures are employed on products containing significant quantities of silica dust, the dust is not successfully controlled. It’s important to control any silica-contaminated mist produced when water is applied to rotating instruments. For this reason, adequately engineered water suppression or even local exhaust ventilation can be employed when dealing with these products. Suppressing silica dust with a handheld spray bottle, sponge, or garden hose is insufficient. Other risks can be introduced to your workplace by using wet fabrication techniques.
Wearing proper respiratory protection
Tight-fitting respirators with good facial seals are needed to protect workers from silica dust. They must be clean-shaven or have facial hair that doesn’t interfere with the respirator valve or the fitting surfaces. There is no one-size-fits-all tight-fitting respirator because everyone’s face is different. This means that before employees engage in dusty labor, you need fit test each employee and their RPE. Powered air-purifying respirators with a loose hood are ideal for employees with facial hair (such as a carefully trimmed beard) that could interfere with function or good fit of a tight-fitting respirator.
Workers and others may be put at risk by silica dust that has settled on their clothing and protective gear. These can be placed near the exits of dusty workplaces in an effort to get employees to clean their garments before they leave. You should provide them with a place to wash their hands, faces, and even their hair. Require your workers to change their attire after each shift or at their next break if they have recently completed an extremely dusty task, and provide rubber boots and aprons.
Workers must take care of their health and safety as much as they can. They should cooperate with whatever workplace regulations you put in place to safeguard them and adhere to reasonable directions.