All contractors need to be aware of the increased importance of dust suppression in the work place. Not only is it becoming an important discussion in the construction industry because of stricter regulations, but it also has benefits that go beyond health and safety. In recent years, the concrete industry has seen an increased emphasis on concrete
dust suppression and containment, both for worker safety and job-site cleanliness.
OSHA’s current National Emphasis Program on Crystalline Silica (in effect since Jan. 24, 2008), outlines stricter regulations for the contractor demanding greater dust collection on the job site. In May 2013, OSHA issued a proposed rule for crystalline silica, whichincludes revised PELs (Permissible Exposure Limit), and is waiting for final comments. It will become essential for the contractor to outfit tools and equipment with dust containment devices, like shrouds and vacuums, both to control the level of airborne dust that is harmful to breathe and to reduce the labor of cleaning up dust from floors, shelves, racks, counters etc., as it settles. These very fine particles can find their way far beyond the work area creating a problem when the job site is in an open business, public building or open area where dust can migrate.