Bulk bag design stays one step ahead of OSHA silica rule

A new Blastcrete suppression system limits silica dust exposure in industrial and construction. DustAway consists of an innovative bulk bag design that attaches to a mixer to contain particles released during charging. The bag’s dust ruffle encapsulates airborne particles, helping to control respirable dust. DustAway helps businesses meet new Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations for crystalline silica by controlling dust to within agency permissible exposure limits (PEL).

DustAway is billed as the first system of its kind and will fit securely around mixer openings. The flexibility of the system allows for customers using material packaged in paper bags to convert to small bulk bags to address new OSHA directives. For larger mixers, companies can work with Blastcrete to design a removable lid that will be available to fill the space where silica dust can escape. The manufacturer will offer a variety of DustAway bulk bag sizes ranging from 500 to 3,000 lbs. and customizable lids to fit new and existing mixers from a host of brands.

OSHA’s new regulations, which take effect in June 2017, cap PEL at 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air over an eight-hour shift. This level is roughly 50 percent of the PEL set 45 years ago for general industry and about 20 percent of the previous threshold for construction. — Blastcrete Equipment Co., Anniston, Ala., 800/235-4867; www.blastcrete.com