Tag Archives: Masonry

OSHA’s Proposed Crystalline Silica Rules May Increase Exposure for Construction Workers

Safety Articles from Desert Diamond IndustriesNew exposure rules proposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) may increase construction and maritime workers’ exposure to crystalline silica, which causes the potentially fatal but preventable respiratory disease silicosis.

On Aug. 23, OSHA proposed changes to crystalline silica exposure rules that would adjust permissible exposure levels (PELs) to 50 micrograms per cubic meter (mg/m³) over an eight-hour period in the general, maritime and construction industries. OSHA currently limits crystalline silica exposure to 100 mg/m³ over an eight-hour period in general industry and 250 million parts per cubic foot (mppcf) in the construction and maritime industries.

According to OSHA, these changes are long overdue. The current PELs  were adopted in 1971 and haven’t been updated since. The construction/maritime PEL, in particular, exposes workers in those industries to higher levels of crystalline silica than general industry workers, said the agency.

However, the current construction/maritime PEL is actually more rigorous than the proposed one. According to this OSHA conversion formula, the current PEL of 250 mppcf equals 25 mg/m³, or half the proposed PEL of 50 mg/m³. In other words, OSHA’s proposed PEL would halve crystalline silica exposure for general industry workers,  but double it for construction and maritime workers.

These PEL changes, if approved, would disproportionately affect U. S. construction workers. OSHA estimates that about 2.2 million workers are exposed to crystalline silica in the U. S. However, the vast majority of these – 1.85 million – work in construction, where the PEL may be increased.

Silicosis deaths have fallen dramatically in the U. S. over the past four decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – from 1,157 deaths in 1968 to just 148 in 2002. However, workers continue to be exposed to crystalline silica. According to the CDC, 121,000 workers were exposed to levels equal to or higher than a recommended exposure level of 0.05  mg/m³ set by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Labor unions have hailed the proposed changes, which they say will protect worker health. Industry groups, on the other hand, have opposed the changes, which they claim will increase construction costs and decrease worksite safety. They have added that OSHA should instead focus on enforcing current crystalline silica rules.

See OSHA’s Crystalline Silica Rulemaking page to see how you can comment on these and other changes to crystalline silica exposure rules.

Remember, we’ll be at the Tri-State Seminar On-The-River here in beautiful Las Vegas, NV from Sept. 24 to Sept. 26! Visit us in Booth 1222 at the South Point Convention Center. See our press release for details.

More on How to Dress a Diamond Blade

How To Articles from Desert Diamond IndustriesWe’ve had blog posts on why you should dress your diamond blade and how you should dress your diamond blade. The only thing we haven’t posted is video of someone dressing a diamond blade… until now.

This video on how to dress a diamond blade was posted on skenma.jp‘s YouTube channel. As you can see, dressing a diamond blade isn’t hard. All you have to do is run the blade through an abrasive material to grind away the bond and expose the diamond grit. The saw operator in this video ran his blade through a grinding wheel, but you can use any abrasive material, including asphalt or block.

As we’ve said before, though, you don’t have to worry about dressing your diamond blade if you use Ductile Iron Safety Blades and Fire Rescue Safety Blades. Their vacuum-brazed designs give you consistent cutting speed in a variety of materials, and you’ll never need to waste time dressing them, either.

Remember, we’ll be at the FDIC 2013 firefighter conference in Indianapolis, IN from April 25 to 27! Visit us in Booth 9550 at the Lucas Oil Stadium. See our press release for details.

Need to Make Quieter Cuts? Try Quiet Core and Silent Core Blades

Stone and Masonry Cutting Articles from Desert Diamond IndustriesThere are times when you want to reduce your cutting noise – usually indoors, in confined areas or near homes, hospitals and schools. Luckily, there are blades that allow you to do just that. These are blades that are designed with “quiet cores” or “silent cores”.

Before we go any further, it may help to explain why blades make so much noise during cutting. Blades make noise because they vibrate while cutting. This isn’t a hazard or defect. Even the best blades cutting on perfectly maintained saws will produce some vibration, which means they’ll produce noise. It stands to reason, then, that if you reduce the vibrations in your blade, you’ll reduce the noise it generates during cutting.

Quiet core blades dissipate vibrations traveling through a blade. Their cores have cuts filled with rubber and other sound-dampening materials, which disrupt and dissipate any blade vibrations that they encounter, reducing cutting noise.

Silent core blades dampen vibrations in a blade. Their cores have a layer of sound-dampening material, like rubber or copper, sandwiched between two layers of traditional blade core material, like steel. These sound-dampening cores dampen vibrations in the blade which, again, reduces cutting noise.

Desert Diamond Industries has several stone and masonry blades with noise-reducing cores, including Pro Block Master Blades, Pro Brick Master Blades and Twin Segmented Pro Masonry Blades, so you’re sure to find a blade that fits your needs. Best of all, you’ll be able to cut without waking the neighbors!

For more information on quiet core and silent core blades, read or download Quiet Core and Silent Core Diamond Blades for free from our Scribd page.

Works Cited
Desert Diamond Industries. Quiet Core and Silent Core Blades. N.p.: Desert Diamond Industries, n.d. Scribd. Web. 14 Nov. 2012. <http://www.scribd.com/doc/56969430/Quiet-Core-and-Silent-Core-Blades>.