Many of the standards that OSHA requires in the abrasive blasting business have to do with silicosis.
WHAT IS SILICOSIS?
Silicosis is a lung disease caused by exposure to silica dust. It is irreversible and can be fatal. OSHA estimates that over 2 million workers are exposed to silica each year, and about 300 die from the disease. The scientific community began to suspect that crystalline silica inhalation was the cause of a variety of illnesses in the 1960s.
Abrasive blasting is one of the main sources of silica exposure in the workplace. That's why it's so important to follow OSHA's standards for sandblasting. Both the blasting operator and persons near him/her are at risk from blast media that includes crystalline silica. Silica dust, while appearing to be harmless, can cause an array of problems. It may cause scarring and stiffening of the lungs, as well as an increased risk of lung cancer when inhaled.
When it comes to Dustless Blasting, the recommended blast media in 2022 is 40/70 recycled crushed glass. While crushed glass does not cause silicosis, it is still unsafe for you and your workers to breathe in. Keep in mind that even the most reliable and safe abrasives can generate a lot of dust when utilized in a dry blasting environment.
OSHA requires employers to safeguard employees from these risks. That is when the next control method comes in handy.
Suppressing the dust generated during sandblasting is crucial to protecting workers from harmful exposure. Dustless Blasting does this by using water to dampen the blast media and capture the dust before it has a chance to become airborne.
The water used in Dustless Blasting also cools the surface being blasted, which helps to prevent heat-related injuries.
3. USE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
Wet abrasive blasting does a fantastic job of reducing dust, but any blasting operation will produce some dust. The protection of the blast operator is enhanced by using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at the end of the day.
Using a device that covers the nose and mouth is vital to protecting the wearer from inhaling harmful airborne particles. When blasting in a confined area, we recommend the RPB® Nova 3®
Dustless Blasting is a low-impact method of blasting that uses water to disrupt the dust plume, making it environmentally friendly and requiring no large containment. This makes it perfect for blasting things that are too big to go into a blast cabinet or can't be transported. Because they do not generate hazardous waste or require specialized disposal, you may use one of our mobile units safely.
If you're looking for the right abrasive blasting media that is effective, versatile, and will get any tough job done, reach out to us!
Dustless Blasting makes OSHA compliance simple.
Dustless Blasting is an excellent method to keep employees safe and in compliance with OSHA regulations. Read the full guidelines on crystalline silica and abrasive blasting here!