How PowerBoss Equipment Can Help Control Crystalline Silica

PowerBoss HEPA Sweepers and Scrubbers Help Control Crystalline Silica

Upcoming OSHA Inspection Overview

Crystalline silica is a common mineral found in the earth’s crust. Materials such as sand, stone, concrete, and mortar contain crystalline silica. Silica is used to make the following products, glass, pottery, ceramics, bricks, and artificial stone. The mineral is not only common but an essential resource in the manufacturing industry. However, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is cracking down on the exposure of silica in work environments.

The reason why? Workers who inhale these tiny crystalline silica particles are at an increased risk of developing serious silica-related diseases, including:

  • Silicosis, an incurable lung disease that can lead to disability and death
  • Lung Cancer
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Kidney Disease

How is Silica Exposed

Silica particles are 100 times smaller than the sand particles we find on beaches and playgrounds. It is created during the process of cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling and crushing stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar. The following activities may create the crystalline dust material that could affect the future health of your co-workers:

  • Abrasive blasting with sand
  • Sawing brick or concrete
  • Sanding or drilling into concrete walls
  • Grinding mortar
  • Manufacturing brick, concrete blocks, stone countertops, or ceramic products
  • Cutting or crushing stone

Industrial sand used in certain operations, such as foundry work and hydraulic fracturing (fracking), is also a source of crystalline silica exposure. OSHA estimates nearly 2.3 million people in the U.S. are exposed to silica at work.

To better protect workers exposed to this material, OSHA has issued two new crystalline silica standards: one for construction, and the other for general industry and maritime. OSHA began enforcing most provisions of construction on September 23, 2017, and will begin enforcing most provisions of the standard for general industry and maritime on June 23, 2018.

The Solution

It is essential to get out ahead of OSHA’s inspection and look into ways to decrease the exposure of crystalline silica. The answer: PowerBoss HEPA Sweepers and Scrubbers

In compliance with OSHA regulations, our PowerBoss equipment is designed to maintain the health and safety of all workers. Our PowerBoss cleaning equipment meets and exceeds OSHA’s standards regarding HEPA filtration of carcinogenic specks of dust. Our machines offer three types of dust control methods used to support OSHA’s housekeeping practices, including; wet sweeping, water flooding, and dry sweeping.

Control Silica

Dry Sweeping

Our PowerBoss HEPA rider sweepers contain dust filters that are 99% efficient to 0.3 microns to comply with OSHA. Our PowerBoss Atlas (pictured above) and Armadillo, 9x sweepers, are the most effective dust control sweepers.

Here are PowerBoss’s five stages of maximum dust control filtration:

  1. Vacuumized main broom chamber
  2. Perma Pre-Filter
  3. (Pleated Filter) 95% to 98% efficient from 2.0 – 5.0 micron
  4. Aggressive Filter Vibration System
  5. (HEPA) 95% to 99% efficient from 30 – 1 micron

PowerBoss Atlas Rider Sweeper – An Industrial sweeper used in both indoor and outdoor environments, such as parking lots, universities, hospitals, hotels, resorts, manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, and more.

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PowerBoss Armadillo 9X HEPA Sweeper – The Armadillo is a quality, cost-effective sweeper that provides many years of consistently reliable service.

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Water Flooding

If dry sweeping isn’t a viable option, the water flooding method may be one to consider. As one of the most effective means of dust control, water flooding contains the silica dust in a floor scrubber’s water solution and is immediately sucked up through the recovery squeegee and vacuum. A capable sweeping machine that also offers the water flooding option is our Nautilus unit.

PowerBoss Nautilus Sweeper/Scrubber – The Nautilus is a highly maneuverable mid-size ride-on sweeper/scrubber that delivers excellent cleaning results. Its large water capacity provides a prolonged run-time operation, meaning you can spend more time cleaning than refilling. The sweeper/scrubber utilizes the water flooding dust control method, which is one of the most effective ways of silica dust control.

The Nautilus gives you the power to remove build-up from floors and bring back the high gloss finish to dirty surfaces. With an optional heavy-duty edge scrubber, the machine allows you to clean close to walls and rack rows. In one pass, the Nautilus deep-cleans and quickly dries the surface with its vacuum, leaving the floors immediately dry and safe.

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Don’t worry about that upcoming OSHA inspection. When it comes to your construction site, warehouse, distribution center, or manufacturing plant, we are confident that our equipment will leave you virtually dust-free!


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