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New OSHA regulations regarding drilling holes for Epoxy,

New OSHA regulations regarding drilling holes for Epoxy, silica dust needs to be vacuumed with HEPA filtered at 129CFM,

HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air (filter). Basically, HEPA is a type of filter that can trap a large amount of very small particles that other vacuum cleaners would simply recirculate back into the air on the job site.

HEPA was a top-secret technology developed during the 1940s by the United States Atomic Energy Commission to efficiently filter radioactive particulate contaminants. HEPA is a type of highly efficient filtration media that removes microscopic particles from air that passes through the filter. There are different efficiency ranges depending on particle size. The most efficient HEPA filter removes 99.7% of particles with a size of 0.3 microns that enter the filter. Such particles include tobacco smoke, household dust, and pollen. HEPA filters are most commonly found in household vacuum cleaners and air filters. Depending on their usage and indoor air quality factors, it is suggested that HEPA filters be replaced every 12 to 18 months.

A rotary hammer drill with a vacuum dust control is a tool use to drill into stone or concrete while collecting airborne dust.

Risks Addressed:

Drilling concrete is a high dust activity that in the absence of controls would place workers at risk of lung disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung scarring and silicosis with prolonged exposure. Silicosis is an incurable, sometimes fatal disease. Such disease is well documented in the Vermont granite quarries and stone cutting sheds, and in construction operations. The NIOSH-recommended exposure limit (REL) for silica is 0.05 mg/m3 as a time-weighted average concentration for up to a 10-hour workday during a 40-hour workweek. This is one-half of the OSHA standard when the dust is pure silica, but still twice the ACGIH-recommended threshold limit value (TLV) of 0.025 mg/m3.

How Risks are Reduced:

The shrouds partially enclose the bit and have a connection for a vacuum system. When a vacuum system is connected to the shroud, air is drawn into the shroud and past the bit, capturing dust and silica near the point of dust generation. These systems capture dust and silica near the source, reducing concentrations in the worker's breathing zone and his or her exposure. For continuous use, a respiratory protection program and respirators may still be required.


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