Fluid Gas Handling

Four Ways to Use Hose in a Wet Method Silica Dust Suppression System

OSHA Standard for Wet Method Silica Dust - Parker Industrial Hose Products - Construction Industry ApplicationsIf the excitement of the construction industry takes your breath away, congratulations! You’re in the right business. But construction workers may have shortness of breath for a far more serious reason—exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS)—and that’s a grave problem that must be addressed immediately.
 
September 23, 2017, is the date for the construction industry to comply with the OSHA standard to limit exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust during jackhammer operation.
 

The background

The U.S. Department of Labor first became aware of this issue in the 1930s. But it wasn’t until 1971—when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created—that formal standards were established to limit exposure to silica dust. Since then, the existing standards have proven inadequate for worker protection in the modern workplace, as construction materials and projects continued to increase in number, size and scope. In 2013, OSHA began the elaborate process of accumulating current scientific data, industry consensus and standards, and input from stakeholders to develop the final rule.


The process

Jackhammers break and chip apart building materials such as bricks, clay, concrete, mortar, rock, stone and many other materials common to work sites. These materials frequently contain silica, an abundant, naturally occurring compound. When forcibly ejected from the work object by the jackhammer, the silica dust suspends in the air, exposing the tool operator and other workers to the hazards of inhaling RCS. The dust can embed in the lungs and other organs, causing long term debilitating health issues and/or premature death.
 

The solution

The OSHA standard considers a “wet method” of dust suppression an effective tactic in a properly deployed strategy. The wet method suppresses dust by spraying a constant and appropriate volume of water directly onto the tip of the jackhammer where it meets the work object. The water grounds the dust before it becomes an airborne health hazard. NOTE: Pre-wetting the work area is ineffective and does not comply with the standard.
 


Four ways for wet method dust suppression

Here are four possible ways to manage silica dust during pneumatic jackhammer operation:
 

1. Manual spraying using a helper

This is a two-person job using a dedicated helper holding a water hose with a garden hose type nozzle. The helper sprays water at the tip of the jackhammer where it meets the work object.

Efficiency and effectiveness are hampered by:

  • requiring two workers for one basic operation
  • depending upon the attentiveness, the experience and skill of the helper in maintaining constant aim, pressure and water flow

2. Air/Water spray system using two independent hose lines

Efficiency and effectiveness are hampered by:

  • devoting attention, effort and time to regularly inspect the security of re-attachable fittings and bands/clamps that are commonly installed
  • individually handling and maneuvering independent hoses around debris, equipment, and other obstacles to avoid kinking and damaging the hoses
     

3. Air/Water spray system using two independent hose lines, mechanically tethered 

OSHA Standard for Wet Method Silica Dust - Parker Industrial Hose Products - Tethered Hose LinesEfficiency and effectiveness are hampered by:

  • devoting attention, effort and time to regularly inspect the security of re-attachable fittings and bands/clamps that are commonly installed
  • attaching and maintaining multiple zip ties, straps or tape along the length of the hoses to hold them together to improve handling when in use
  • freeing the hoses when the tethers and gaps between the hoses become snagged on debris, equipment, and other obstacles


 

4. Parker Twinhammer™ Dual Air/Water Jackhammer Hose

OSHA Standard for Wet Method Silica Dust - Parker Industrial Hose Products - Twinhammer Twinned Hose AssembliesEfficiency and effectiveness are increased by:

  • using hoses with factory-installed, maintenance-free permanent crimp couplings
  • incorporating twinned and chemically bonded air and water lines for durable, snag-resistant and superior handling without installing and maintaining zip ties, straps or tape


The benefits of compliance

  • A healthier work force
  • Reduced medical expenses
  • Minimal investment in equipment
  • Avoidance of state and federal financial penalties


Breathe easier with Parker Twinhammer Hose

Avoid the last minute rush! Get more information and stock up on Parker Series 7084 Twinhammer Hose.
 
OSHA Standard for Wet Method Silica Dust - Parker Industrial Hose Products - Twinhammer Hose Assemblies

 

Dennis Daniel, Industrial Hose Products Division, Parker HannifinArticle contributed by Dennis Daniel, technical services manager at Industrial Hose Products Division, Parker Hannifin.

 

 

 

 

 

Other related topics on Parker hose, hose application, and selection criteria:

How to Improve Steam Hose Safety in Petrochemical Refineries
What is SafetyWorks Training and Why is it Important?
Certified Natural Gas Vehicle and Fueling System Products

 
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