6 Ways to Minimize Silica Dust in the Workplace
Silica is a common mineral you will find in sand, rock, granite, concrete, soil, and similar materials. It can result from processes like sanding, grinding, drilling, blasting, and cutting. This is common in the construction and mining industries, among others. Proper management of silica dust is crucial to avoid health problems, such as silicosis and lung cancer. Read on and we’ll talk about some of the best ways to minimize silica dust in any work site.
- Use Dust Misting Cannon
Dust misting cannons, such as those that you will find at Bosstek, can offer an effective solution against silica dust. It will aid in suppressing dust right at the source, preventing it from getting in contact with humans. This isn’t only a way to build a safe and healthy workplace, but it also helps in minimizing the environmental impact of daily business operations.
- Provide Personal Protective Equipment
The first line of defense against silica dust should be personal protective equipment. The right PPE can limit the exposure of workers. Respirators are among the most important. They will protect the workers from dust while also making it easier to breathe. Make it mandatory for workers to wear proper safety equipment. See to it that the PPE is comfortable so that people will not hesitate to use them.
- Consider Substitutes
If you are using silica in your workplace, now is the time to consider other materials without compromising quality. Depending on the intended application, some of the substitutes recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration include aluminum oxide, baking soda, coal slag, copper slag, dry ice, and glass beads, among others.
- Ensure Proper Ventilation
In indoor workspaces, proper ventilation is a must to manage the risks of silica exposure. One of the best ways to do this is by using local exhaust ventilation. It uses hand-held devices to suction dust right at its source. Another solution is by letting fresh air in and pulling out contaminated air to get rid of silica dust in the workplace.
- Practice Good Personal Hygiene
Promote good hygiene practices in the workplace as another means for minimizing silica dust. The employees should be responsible for making sure that they practice good hygiene, such as washing their hands. Smoking, eating, and drinking should not be allowed in places where silica dust is present.
- Implement Administration Controls
Dust suppression techniques should not only include state-of-the-art tools but should also involve administrative controls. One of the best things to do is to choose a strategic schedule for activities that can cause exposure to silica dust. Do it at a time when the site is not busy, which will limit the number of people who will be exposed to silica dust.
Silica dust is a huge health hazard in many workplaces, especially construction and mining. Businesses must implement proactive measures to limit exposure and build a healthier workplace. From using dust misting cannon to implementing administrative controls, consider our recommendations above to minimize silica dust exposure.