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SILICA STANDARD TABLE 1
OSHA Silica Dust Standard29 CFR 1926.1153
CERTIFIED UNDER IEST RP CC007.3 STANDARDS
www.pulsebac.com • 866-954-9700
Pulse-Bac’s patented technology keeps filters
clean, so suction stays consistent. Other
vacuums can lose up to 50% of their suction
as the filter clogs, but not Pulse-Bac.
It’s here, OSHA has
issued their new
Silica Dust Standard.
starting now with
more industries to
follow. One of the
of the construction
standard is the easy
compliance options offered in Table 1*.
What is Table 1*? First, it’s important to understand that the rule lays out two
options for controlling dust. Option 1 is, in short, control silica with your own
methods and then measure your employee’s silica exposure through medical
testing and other methods, which can be out of reach for some construction
businesses. Option 2 is to follow the dust control methods in Table 1 of the
construction standard. For many businesses, especially smaller businesses
Table 1 may be the better choice. Plus, according to OSHA’s fact sheet, those
who follow Table 1 correctly are not required to measure workers’ exposure
to silica and are not subject to the PEL.
Table 1* shows dust control methods for many common operations. Several
tools must be equipped with an integrated water delivery system that
continuously feeds water to the blade or bit. This makes compliance on these
operations pretty straightforward. However, other operations have different
requirements. Things like cutting Fiber Cement Board, Tuck-pointing, Dowel
Drilling and using Handheld and Stand-Mounted Drills require a Dust Shroud
and a connection to a Dust Collector. Jackhammers and chipping tools
like Hammer Drills as well as Handheld Grinders and Walk-behind Floor
Grinders can use water or a dust collector.
An interesting point is the requirements Table 1* place on handheld grinders
Along with the requirement for using a dust collector, Table 1 also places
for Tuck-pointing and for “Other Purposes”. It states the vacuum should
have 25 CFM per inch of blade diameter. So for example, Pulse-Bac
recommends a 550 model vacuum that produces 150CFM for tuck-pointing
with a 4-5” grinding wheel, meeting the Table 1 standard. That same 550
model previously worked great for a grinder with a 7” cup wheel. However,
according to the new rule, the 7” grinder would now require 51 more CFM
for a total of 175 CFM, even though before the 550 had been a very effective
solution. Now the user must move up to something like a Pulse-Bac 1050
model, which is not only more powerful but larger overall.
requirements on the dust collector itself. The following appears almost
everywhere a dust collector is called for.
“(the)Dust collector must provide the air flow recommended by the tool
manufacturer, or greater, and have a filter with 99% or greater efficiency
and a filter-cleaning mechanism”.
To better define what this means we’ll look at the text preceding Table 1*.
First, let’s address filter efficiency. The text shows that OSHA had originally
considered requiring HEPA filters like those used with lead paint & asbestos,
which provide 99.97% filter efficiency @. 3 microns since they provide better
respiratory protection. However, OSHA found that many HEPA filters clog
quickly and that there were more filter options close to HEPA available,
allowing the standard to be more easily implemented. This is why OSHA
went with a lower filter efficiency of 99%. However, vacuums like Pulse-Bac
feature HEPA filters to provide the best protection and with the automatic
pulse cleaning, filter clogging is a non-issue regardless of filter efficiency. So,
when you’re looking at filtration from a compliance standpoint, while a HEPA
filter will provide better protection, you’re the only obligation is a filter that
provides at least 99% filtration(X). The table is ambiguous as to the particle
size(Y) to be filtered (filter efficiency = X% Y micron), but to be safe it
may be good to find something in the 0.3-0.9 micron range, as this would fit
what is discussed in the preceding text.
Now let’s look at the second part of the requirement, that the dust collector
be equipped with a filter-cleaning mechanism. A “filter-cleaning mechanism”
could mean a lot of different things, so we need to interpret what the
expectation may be. Here again we turn to preceding text. There we find
OSHA saw that fine silica dust would quickly clog standard vacuums. They
looked at data from NIOSH,
“NIOSH pointed out that a reverse pulse feature on a dust collector should
preclude the need to remove filters for cleaning. OSHA agrees and has
included the specification for a filter cleaning mechanism”.
Other statements provide further insight “the filter(s) on the vacuum must
be cleaned or changed as frequently as necessary in order to ensure they
remain effective (it may be necessary to activate a back-pulse filter cleaning
mechanism several times during the course of a shift).” and “ regular
stops to conduct the proper reverse air pulse filter cleaning procedure were
This makes it clear that filter cleaning is an important part of the
requirement of Table 1 and the filters will need to be cleaned
frequently to be in compliance. While this may slow work down, a
vacuum with an automatic pulse cleaning feature will eliminate the
need for monitoring and work stoppage for manual cleaning.
Table 1* seems to show, although now regulated, a lot of these
requirements can be met with fairly common practices. For example,
many people already use a vacuum with a concrete grinder. Now they
just need to make sure it has the right filter efficiency, a filter cleaning
mechanism, and the correct CFM. They might want a vacuum that
does the work of filter cleaning automatically to avoid frequently
stopping work to push a button, shake or change a filter. However,
these are things that provide benefit and convenience regardless
of the rule. Pulse-Bac vacuums meet all of the requirements and
recommendation set forth in the new Silica Standard and provide more
features to make work safer and easier.
Learn more at www.pulsebac.com
*To view Table 1 from the New OSHA Silica Dust Standard got to: