Reducing Silica Dust

By Robert Robillard on Dealing With Dust

Reducing Silica Dust

Reducing Respirable Silica Dust is a Requirement

On March 2, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a ruling on respirable silica dust. This ruling put the spotlight on how companies will need to reduce silica dust in drilling applications.

The Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been tasked with enforcing this regulation.  As contractors, we need to reduce the amount of respirable silica dust that our workers are exposed to over an eight-hour period.  The goal of this regulation is to reduce silica dust from 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 50 micrograms.

Reducing Silica Dust

250 to 50 micrograms  is a big reduction, but there are tool technologies the exist to help us meet these requirements. For example, I like using the Bosch Hollow-Core Speed Clean™ Bits.  When I attach these bits to a HEPA vacuum, airborne concrete dust is dramatically reduced.  This system also obviously reduces respirable silica dust, benefiting everyone on the construction site.

Reducing Silica Dust

Bosch Speed Clean Bits To Rescue

Bosch Speed Clean bits have an internal dust channel, milled to collect dust at the source and transfer it to the vacuum.  This results in a cleaner, safer job site, which saves you time and money.  The Speed Clean bits also produces way less dust than traditional drilling methods and Bosch also claims that these bits will reduce drilling time by up to 50 percent.

Bosch Speed Clean Bits are constructed with carbide tips, embedded in a four-cutter, steel head geometry. These Speed Clean bits come with a rubber connector that connects the shaft of the drill bit to the vacuum hose, creating a solid seal.

Reducing Silica Dust

Reducing Silica Dust – A Collaboration

Bosch worked with engineering consulting firm Terracon to develop internal tests for reducing silica dust dust and silica exposure in concrete drilling.

The tests, performed by a certified industrial hygienist from Terracon, were designed to compare airborne dust concentrations in the personal breathing zone of a worker.  They tested Bosch Speed Clean bits versus conventional solid-core concrete bits.

Four tests were conducted using each type of concrete drill bit. In all four tests Speed Clean rendered undetectable amounts of silica dust. The conventional concrete drill bits did not fair so well, as silica dust was detected in all four tests.

Stay safe!

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzzr As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising-the-bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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