New regulations regarding dust
OSHA has many regulations about air quality in industrial plants. Dust particles are a huge topic which leads to the need for dust collection systems to keep facilities safe and healthy. Dust collectors help keep the air clean. OSHA is now changing their silica dust regulations, which involves reducing the permissible exposure limit (PEL) to crystalline silicone to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air over 8 hours. Will this affect your facility?
OSHA is issuing standards to protect workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica. To help meet the general industry and maritime standards, OSHA has provided a list of requirements:
- Measure the amount of silica that workers are exposed to – if it may be at or above an action level of 25 μg/m3 (micrograms of silica per cubic meter of air), averaged over an 8-hour day.
- Protect workers from respirable crystalline silica exposures above the permissible exposure limit of 50 μg/m3, averaged over an 8-hour day.
- Limit workers’ access to areas where they could be exposed above the PEL.
- Use dust controls to protect workers from silica exposures above the PEL.
- Provide respirators to workers when dust controls cannot limit exposures to the PEL.
- Restrict housekeeping practices that expose workers to silica where feasible alternatives are available.
- Establish and implement a written exposure control plan that identifies tasks that involve exposure and methods used to protect workers.
- Train workers on work operations that result in silica exposure and ways to limit exposure.
- Offer medical exams — including chest X-rays and lung function tests — every three years for workers exposed at or above the action level for 30 or more days per year.
- Keep records of workers’ silica exposure and medical exams.
Compliance dates to meet the new standards are dependent on the industry of the business. With some compliance dates being as soon as September 23, 2017; it is important that action is taken to insure that your facility is in line with OSHA’s regulations.
ACT Dust Collectors can help you! In the list above, number four refers to “Dust Controls”. ACT Dust Collectors specializes in dust collection and controls. Contact us today to tick number four off the list.
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