Silica Regulation Information
OSHA Recommends Cab Pressurization and High Efficiency Filtration for Silica Regulation 1926.1153
The 2017 OSHA silica regulations (OSHA Silica Construction Regulation 1926.1153) for construction, mining and general industry is mandating worker air quality health as significantly more stringent than ever before. Evidence shows the previous limits on silica dust were not keeping workers safe. Under the new regulation, they believe they could prevent 600 deaths and over 900 new cases of silicosis each year. The new ruling forces contractors and employers of workers with potential exposure to cut “permissible exposure limits” (PEL’s) by half.
The rule lists requirements for monitoring and assessing silica exposure, protecting employees, reducing dust, and keeping records and communication with employees. It says employers can do one of two things.
EITHER: Continuously monitor and track and record silica levels.
OR: Implement safe engineering controls.
Enginaire’s Cabaire Cab Pressurization systems that contain high efficiency dust filters (Standard or EL Sizes have the filters) as MERV 16 or HEPA serve as a perfect engineering control to provide coverage to workers operating in enclosed cabs. Cabaire does work best when the cabs are well sealed with windows and doors closed.
Here is what OSHA recommends for protecting workers inside enclosed cabs, taken straight from OSHA Silica Regulation 1926.1153
For measures implemented that include an enclosed cab or booth, ensure that the enclosed cab or booth:
- Is maintained as free as practicable from settled dust;
- Has door seals and closing mechanisms that work properly;
- Has gaskets and seals that are in good condition and working properly;
- Is under positive pressure maintained through continuous delivery of fresh air;
- Has intake air that is filtered through a filter that is at least 95% efficient in the 0.3-10.0 micron range (MERV 16 or better) and;
- Has heating and cooling capabilities.
Enginaire’s Cabaire product line accomplishes these specific technical tasks perfectly and the Enginaire team can assist with the sealing and helping in making your cabs safe to have the pressurization systems work ideally. Cabaire is easy to install and it pumps clean, filtered air straight into the cab or through the existing HVAC system. We offer MERV 16 filters or HEPA filters that are even better at 99.97% efficiency in the 0.3 micron range. Settled dust will escape the cab through any cracks or leaks as the air pump motor provides positive pressure keeping the cab environment and operator safe from dangerous tiny particles. Call or email us today and let us help you address your compliance with these regulations!