Register for One of Our FREE OSHA Compliance Trainings...

First off, here's what you need to know.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica.

As this relates to the concrete polishing industry, the exposure limits of silica found in concrete, mortar, overlay products, terrazzo, stone, brick, grout, stucco, thinset, rock, block, self-levelers, color hardener, etc. must be 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift.

For our industry, on June 23, 2017 you must be in compliance with this regulation.

OSHA estimates that the rule will save over 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year, once its effects are fully realized. The Final Rule is projected to provide net benefits of about $7.7 billion, annually.

Go to for more info

How to Comply:

  1. Use engineering controls to limit worker exposure to the PEL and familiarize yourself with Table 1 i.e. use the proper dust extraction equipment.
  2. Provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure.
  3. Develop a written exposure control plan that identifies tasks that involve exposure and methods used to protect workers, including procedures to restrict access to work areas where high exposures may occur, and designate a competent person to implement.
  4. Keep good records of workers' silica exposure and medical exams.
  5. Offer medical exams to highly exposed workers - including chest x-rays and lung function tests every three years for workers who are required by the standard to wear a respirator for 30 or more days per year.
  6. Train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures.

How to Choose the Proper HEPA Vacuum:

  • High quality HEPA filters that are tested and certified, with a rating of at least 99.99 at 0.3 micron
  • High CFM & Water Lift for proper matching to equipment
  • Must have a mechanical filter cleaning method, contained allowing no dust to escape
  • Multi levels of filtration, that include a cyclonic chamber, pre-filters, HEPA’s and pre-separators
  • Drop down bagging containment systems, no dust can or tray
  • Availability to attach tools for collection at the source
  • Wet and dry availability when needed

What is Table 1?

Table 1 matches the common construction taks with dust control methods, so employers know exactly what they need to do to limit worker exposures to silica. The dust control measures listed in the table include methods known to be effective, like using water to keep dust from getting into the air or using ventilation to capture dust. In some operations, respirators may also be needed.

Employers who follow Table 1 correctly are not required to measure workers' exposure to silica and are not subject ot the PEL.

click for the full Table

Fines for NOT Complying

This is not to be taken lightly. OSHA is really starting to get serious about enforcement of this regulation. Let us help prepare you before the June 23rd effective date.

The Equipment You Need to Comply:

Pullman Ermator can help employers to easily meet or exceed the new safety standards, and protect employees from breathing in the particles and developing these harmful illnesses. Pullman Ermator’s approach to air cleaning and dust extraction is unparalleled, with every single HEPA filter being individually tested and certified at a filtration rate of 99.9% at 0.3 microns. The Longopac system and Jet Pulse filter cleaning system provide further protection against silicone dust, by keeping the dust completely contained when disposing of the dust or purging the prefilter.

We're here to help.

Please reach out with questions about any of this, contact us for ordering, call or email to set-up a one-on-one training at your facility or jobsite, ask us technical questions, register for an OSHA training, etc. Our goal is to keep you happy, and most importantly—help you grow your business.

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800.896.8665  |

Our IN Location Address:
861 N Rangeline Rd, Carmel, IN 46032
Our CA Location Address:
3337 Sunrise Blvd. #3, Rancho Cordova, CA 95742

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