Minimizing Silica Dust Exposure
Hydraulic fracturing utilizes a large quantity of sand (among other materials and chemicals). Delivering and handling the sand on site can lead to generation of fugitive dust and respirable crystalline silica. Equipment relying on pneumatic handling of the sand creates the highest concentrations of dust and silica. Data1 exists demonstrating employee exposures to dust and silica above the current, and future, Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL).
Environmental regulations exist for mitigation of dust (fugitive particulate); most state agencies require best management practices to minimize dust. Furthermore, more recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a rule on Silica2; setting a more stringent standard for employee exposure (25 μg/m3 Action Level; and 50 μg/m3 PEL), and requirements3 for implementing controls (including engineering controls for hydraulic fracturing by June 23, 2021).
Continuing to rely on pneumatic type operations for material handling may no longer be an option. New work practice and engineering controls are likely necessary to reduce the dust and silica generated to safe and compliant levels. Implementation of controls (under Federal OSHA standards) will be required, and providers and operators may struggle with the increased cost, and efficiencies potentially lost, by implementing such controls.
In This White Paper You Will Learn:
- Which integrated delivery solution and material handling system can significantly reduce dust generation, decreases employee exposure to dust and respirable crystalline silica.
- What systems to integrate deliver sand all the way to the blender hopper with only a minimal release of dust as sand enters the hopper.
- How you can satisfy the engineering controls requirements under the OSHA silica rule, and significantly reduce the number of employees that may need additional reduction to exposure by utilizing respiratory protection.