All Construction Safety Professionals agree that Silicosis will be the biggest killer of construction workers within the next 10 years. Lung Cancer and COPD along with a number of other lung diseases are the direct results of silica dust exposure.
Silica Dust is the “new” asbestos, except silica dust is MUCH worse than breathing asbestos.
This safety issue can be resolved by eliminating the silica dust exposure with the use of a vacuum that uses certified HEPA filters. Each certified HEPA filter is individually tested with a DOP test to assure its safety compliance. To check this, look at the filter in your vacuum. Each filter will have a label on it that is signed and dated by the testing facility.
Unfortunately, certified HEPA filters cost much more than “standard” filters and often get replaced with the cheaper filters. This knowingly puts workers at risk and sets you up for future liability health claims. As a business owner or a rental operator, you should cover your bases and always provide the proper safety equipment, especially when it is the law !!
Always look to see if the filter has a tag on it showing the date of testing and the signature of the tester otherwise you are knowingly giving your employee or customer a piece of equipment that is dangerous and maybe be illegal.