Tool Cuts Silica Exposure for Concrete Drillers

The "highway drill jig" designed by Dr. David Rempel, Pam Susi, and Michael Cooper also is much easier on the construction laborers who are cutting these holes.

The task of adding new concrete to a building's foundation or making improvements to roads and bridges often involves horizontal drilling of many holes to house rebar. Handling the drill is punishing work for the laborer who does it, and the cutting also can expose him to airborne crystalline silica that will damage lung tissue if it is inhaled.

A new tool called a highway drill jig shows promise in reducing both exposures significantly. It was developed by Dr. David Rempel of the University of California San Francisco's Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine; Pam Susi of CPWR, The Center for Construction Research and Training; and Michael Cooper of The Lippy Group LLC in Berkeley, Calif., through research supported by CPWR. The result is shown in Alan Barr's four-minute video of the trials and discussed in the February 2012 Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene.

Rempel installed a shroud around the drill bit and a vacuum system for local exhaust ventilation to capture the silica dust. According to CPWR, the results were encouraging: "A conventional pneumatic rock drill produced levels of airborne crystalline silica 14 times over the exposure limit NIOSH recommends. The drill jig alone -- presumably by distancing the worker from the work surface -- reduced this to a mere six times the recommended exposure: better, but still hazardous. The combination of drill jig and LEV, however, brought the worker's exposure levels down below the threshold established by NIOSH."

For more information, contact Cooper at mike@thelippygroup.com.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue