Crystalline Silica Dust: What Construction Distributors Need To Know

grinder creating alot of silica dust

OCTOBER 26, 2016

Are you aware of the new crystalline silica standards being implemented by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)? By June 2017, the new silica rules will be enforced in the Construction industry and distributors need to be informed about which product lines will work most effectively and help contractors avoid hefty fines for noncompliance.

Serving the Construction & Safety markets for nearly 40 years, Harvey Gerstman Associates (HGA) represents the leading manufacturer of dust control products that comply with the new OSHA crystalline silica rules.


What Is Crystalline Silica?image002

According to OSHA, crystalline silica is a material found in an array of workplace materials. Think: sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar. The manipulation of such crystalline silica (i.e. cutting, drilling, grinding), results in microscopic silica dust particles in the air that, when inhaled, can have life-threatening effects on workers, including lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease.

OSHA estimates that “more than 2.3 million workers in the United States are potentially exposed to dust containing crystalline silica with nearly 90% of those workers employed in the construction industry.” Therefore, the government has stepped in and established new silica dust exposure limits.


OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica Regulations

The new silica regulations reduce the permissible exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, average over an 8-hour shift. The silica rule mandates dust products with a filter cleaning mechanism that can collect 99% of the dust and a HEPA rated vacuum for dry clean up work. Failure to comply with the exposure limit can result in fines at approximately $12,470.


Our Product Solution

HGA represents the leading manufacturer in Construction dust control – Dustless Technologies. Dustless Technologies manufactures an entire line of vacuums and shrouds that meet these new silica dust requirements. Please contact your HGA rep today to learn more about these Dustless Technologies products!

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