What Could Dust Extraction Cost You?

Dust extraction on a jobsite must be handled carefully, or the mistake could mean steep OSHA penalties.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) takes airborne and surface-borne dust very seriously because of its severe risks to job site workers and public safety. Every year, more than 2 million construction workers are exposed to materials that contain silica, including concrete and stone.

Prolonged exposure to silica dust – or even short-term exposure in some cases – can cause a condition called silicosis, which compromises respiration. In affected people, scars form deep within the lungs, limiting the breath and increasing the risk of lung infections like tuberculosis. There is no cure for silicosis.

In 2016, OSHA updated the Crystalline Silica Rule, establishing tougher standards for respirable crystalline silica, including an enforcement schedule that’s in effect for construction sites, industrial settings, maritime operations and contractors. The standards are much stricter than those set by OSHA’s original silica rule in the 1970’s.

Is your work site in full compliance with the new rule? Here’s why it should be. 

How to Manage Dust Extraction the Right Way

To handle crystalline silica dust properly, follow all OSHA standards for respirators, exposure limits, engineering controls and other measures that directly affect worker health and safety. Monitor exposure levels and stay within the boundaries of exposure limits: 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air at an 8-hour, time-weighted average.

Use a high-quality HEPA vacuum to filter the air and remove airborne particles created by grinding, drilling, mixing, cutting, blasting and other worksite activities. Plan for both wet and dry activities and ensure all workers are fully trained on precautionary procedures in case an emergency arises.

Pullman Ermator, maker of single-phase HEPA dust extractors, recently conducted a cost analysis on what bags, filters and labor could cost you for dust extraction over a year. The first is your initial cost, where your choices include 150 CFM and smaller plastic dust vacuums that are HEPA-ready or HEPA-included.

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*click here for the full PDF guide (courtesy of Pullman Ermator Inc.)

Your annual filter costs depend on the type of vacuum you are using. Single-motor dust vacuums with self-pulsing or shaking filter systems need to be replaced periodically. While a HEPA-ready vacuum needs a filter change every two months, HEPA-included dust extractors run for 18 months without a filter change. Figuring in the price for each type of filter bag, plus the annual labor cost of changing two bags per day during a six-day work week for 50 weeks a year, the HEPA-included models come out on top – even though the filter bag price is higher. In the long run, you could end up paying $3,000 more for a plastic dust vacuum. Purchasing any S-line dust extractor may have a higher initial cost, but you still can save thousands of dollars year after year.

Failure to Comply Penalties Go Beyond Basic Cost

OSHA’s enforcement penalties for the Crystalline Silica Rule come with expensive fines. The lowest level serious violation previously cost the violator $7,000 in fines. In the updated standards, the same level violation costs $12,471 per incident and is likely to trigger a deeper investigation by OSHA and other governmental authorities.

After the first incident, it’s the company’s responsibility to manage abatement procedures and prove to OSHA that abatement has taken place. Otherwise, you’ll face a failure-to-abate fine of $12,471 per day beyond the abatement deadline from OSHA.

The biggest penalty comes from either waiting too long to address issues or allowing them to take place repeatedly, which OSHA considers a willful violation. This comes with a staggering $124,709 fine, which can be doubled, tripled or more if you have numerous serious violations across your enterprise.

Putting Worker Safety At Risk

The cost of non-compliance goes much deeper than dollars. Failure to manage crystalline silica dust can destroy the health of your workers. Part of OSHA compliance is providing medical exams at least every three years to workers who wear respirators for more than 30 days at a time. These standards are set for a reason – to prevent workers’ health and lives from being permanently affected by worksite hazards.

Non-compliance can also ruin your company’s reputation in the industry. When competitors, partners and the public get wind of unethical practices, word spreads like wildfire and it can permanently tarnish a company’s image. Just one violation could severely limit the number of jobs your company is awarded in the future.

To keep your worksite risk at an absolute minimum, contact your Runyon sales rep to examine the site and put protective measures in place. It’s a proactive step towards staying well within OSHA boundaries and making sure dust doesn’t cost you money and lives.

Runyon Surface Prep Rental & Supply is a full-service sales and rental facility uniquely dedicated to the concrete polishing industry. Our uniqueness comes from providing our customers with a diverse equipment, product and supply portfolio. We offer training and support, such as technique workshops on prep, polishing or removal, and maintain a well-stocked inventory of consumables ready for your projects at a moment’s notice. Rather than perform contract work ourselves, we consult on job sites when necessary. With the backing of our vendors, Runyon Surface Prep offers support at any level, to assist in helping you get things done. We can deliver or ship wherever you need, or you can pick up from our facility.

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Guide to Cleaning Up Oil Spills on Concrete

Aside from daily maintenance, there are times when unexpected spills happen. Left untreated, they can leave behind discoloration and stain your otherwise beautiful floor. In the case of our warehouse, we had hydraulic fluid leak onto our floor as we were unloading a large piece of equipment. Luckily, we were quick to remediate the situation and document (with pictures) the entire process.

We were unloading a power trowel off a pallet when we noticed a bit of fluid was leaking. Upon further investigation, it was identified as hydraulic fluid and was dripping onto the floor. Our team was extremely responsive in both identifying and stopping the leak.

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill

We removed as much of the fluid as possible using clean dry cloths. It’s important to remember that polished concrete is not a coating and will absorb the oil, which is why it’s important to get it up as soon as possible. This is also why a dry cloth is the best method to remove as much fluid as you can. The use of mops, auto scrubbers, etc. at this point will only help the fluid penetrate deeper into the concrete.

Once we removed as much fluid from the methods listed above, it was time to use a product specific to oil and stain removal. We chose to use Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover, as this was available in our warehouse and does the job well.

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill Remediation
Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill Remediation - Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover

The instructions call for the glue like substance to be poured onto the stain and left untouched to dry, which in our case was overnight. The product pulls the contaminants out of the substrate, capturing them in its highly absorbent blend of batter-thick surfactants, solvents and powders.  I attempted to take pictures throughout our workday to track this process.

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill Remediation - Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover

Once dry, we simply swept up the powdered remains and auto scrubbed the floor as a part of our daily maintenance routine. In all, I believe the biggest contributor to the successful removal of oil and grease stains is to address them as soon as possible. The stain definitely faded in color, but will probably require another treatment or further remediation down the road. Had the concrete not been polished, we would have expected the stain to dissipate completely. Coming from a background in concrete coatings and coating removal, I’ve been curious to compare and contrast differences in polished concrete and coatings. This was a great case study!

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill - after using Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover

Wahlburgers TRU PC Job by Custom Concrete Creations

This week we want to feature an impressive TRU PC overlay job completed by Custom Concrete Creations in the Wahlburgers at Mall of America. You can see the before and after shots of this 3,600 square foot restaurant below. In addition, we’ve included some snapshots of the process, including a logo stencil application and wet grinding and polishing.

BEFORE:
Wahlburgers CCC Job - before

AFTER:
Wahlburgers CCC Job - after

 

Custom Concrete Creations used the following products and equipment to complete this job:

Big thanks to Hy-Vee Construction and the CCC crew on this job: Matt Safford, Tyler Hansen, Pete Clifton and Keenan Hanson.

Custom Concrete Creations specializes in Polished Concrete flooring. CCC services Industrial, Commercial and Residential clients throughout the Midwest. Custom Concrete Creations has been in the Polishing market since the craft became popular over five years ago. They have the passion and expertise to help your project succeed!

Runyon Roots: Joe Vertrees’ Story

Today is all about Joe Vertrees. Joe’s sister Jackie works in our Customer Service Division. This is how we found Joe. Joe was born at home on May 20, 1991. Jackie is his biological sister, and he also has three step-siblings. In his younger years, he moved around the state of Ohio quite a bit. However, he planted his roots at Liberty-Benton High School, where he was in vocational classes and studied construction management skills.

As a teenager, Joe was extremely curious, motivated and driven. At fifteen, he rode his bike to his first job, which was at a shooting range. And from there he continued to develop different skill sets such as: working in an Outback kitchen, traveling for a moving company, working his way up to Parts Manager at a Michigan-based company, and eventually finding his way to Runyon.

Joe spends his spare time with his rescue pitbulls and cats. He has two pitbulls: Sophia and Domino, and two cats: Zippo and Minx. He is extremely passionate about training his animals and has read all of Cesar Millan’s books. Since high school, Joe has been an avid reader. He reads whatever peaks his interest at the time. Joe and his sister work well together at the shop and we are extremely lucky to have this curious, motivated and driven young man on our Runyon team!

Joe Vertrees

Cleaning & Sealing Concrete Driveways and Sidewalks

Ameripolish Strip & Clean Before and After

photos courtesy of Ameripolish

Summer is an ideal time to rejuvenate existing concrete sidewalks, driveways and patios that have been neglected and have had their appearance diminished by the accumulation of grime, mildew and oil stains. With a thorough cleaning and the application of the proper sealer, exposed exterior concrete can be made like new and can be an attractive part of the landscape for years to come.

Step 1. Cleaning

The first step in rejuvenating exterior concrete areas is to remove any existing sealers and the surface grime that has accumulated. Ameripolish Strip and Clean or Prosoco Cure and Seal Remover are great options for this product. Once any sealer remnants have been removed, a deep chemical clean to restore the clean aesthetic can be achieved with a treatment of Ameripolish EZ Etch or Prosoco SafEtch. These products are superior to traditional acid washes in that they require no neutralization and clean-up is as simple as flushing the treated area with water. If oil stains are present, they can be mitigated with the use of products such as Ameripolish Oil Ingester and/or Prosoco Oil and Grease Stain Remover at this point.

Step 2. Sealing

Once the concrete surface is clean and rejuvenated, an exterior grade sealer should be applied to protect the area from becoming degraded again. The sealer used should be UV stable, have resistance to mildew growth and salt damage, and protect against oil infiltration. Ameripolish X-Link and Prosoco GuardEXT are products that fit the bill nicely.

Cleaning and sealing exterior concrete such as driveways, sidewalks and patios is a quick, simple and cost-effective way to enhance curb appeal and the early summer is an ideal time to do it.

Runyon Surface Prep Rental & Supply is a full-service sales and rental facility uniquely dedicated to the concrete polishing industry. Our uniqueness comes from providing our customers with a diverse equipment, product and supply portfolio. We offer training and support, such as technique workshops on prep, polishing or removal, and maintain a well-stocked inventory of consumables ready for your projects at a moment’s notice. Rather than perform contract work ourselves, we consult on job sites when necessary. With the backing of our vendors, Runyon Surface Prep offers support at any level, to assist in helping you get things done. We can deliver or ship wherever you need, or you can pick up from our facility.

Adding Color to Existing Exterior Concrete

ColorJuice 3D Exterior Concrete

photos courtesy of Ameripolish

Adding color to existing exterior concrete is a great option to aesthetically enhance landscaping. However, to maximize the longevity and appearance, the correct coloring products, application techniques and protective sealers must be used.

Since exterior concrete is subject to UV radiation and open to the elements, a coloring product specifically designed to hold up to these factors in ways that interior-use dyes are not capable of is recommended. Prosoco ColorHard and Ameripolish ColorJuice 3D are two products that are UV stable and engineered for exposure to the elements. They both will provide years of beautiful color in exterior applications.

Proper preparation of the concrete to be colored is crucial for the successful application of both ColorHard and ColorJuice 3D. Prior to applying either of these products, any sealers that are present must be removed and the concrete substrate must be cleaned and free of debris. In addition, the use of a mild etching agent is recommended to dissolve latents and salts that may be blocking the access channels into the interior of the concrete. For ColorHard, a deep clean with SafEtch is ideal for this purpose; while for ColorJuice 3D, EZ Etch would be the best choice.

Once the color has been applied according to the manufacturer’s recommended process, It is very important to protect the concrete and its beautiful new hue with the proper sealer. For ColorJuice, one of the X-Link sealers should be applied and for ColorHard, GuardEXT is the product of choice.

With either the Ameripolish ColorJuice 3D system, or the Prosoco ColorHard system, existing exterior concrete can be aesthetically enhanced and protected for the long-term.

Runyon Surface Prep Rental & Supply is a full-service sales and rental facility uniquely dedicated to the concrete polishing industry. Our uniqueness comes from providing our customers with a diverse equipment, product and supply portfolio. We offer training and support, such as technique workshops on prep, polishing or removal, and maintain a well-stocked inventory of consumables ready for your projects at a moment’s notice. Rather than perform contract work ourselves, we consult on job sites when necessary. With the backing of our vendors, Runyon Surface Prep offers support at any level, to assist in helping you get things done. We can deliver or ship wherever you need, or you can pick up from our facility.

Runyon Roots: Odessa Tynan’s Story

Odessa is our next root, and she has deep roots with the Runyon family. Her dad, Dave Tynan, was hired by Jack Runyon (the original founder) in 1976, and still to this day works for our company. Odessa previously worked for our Tool Rental division for several years, and now has transferred to the Surface Prep division. Odessa grew up working alongside the Runyon family at the Tool Rental. Odessa grew up in Carmel, Indiana and graduated from Carmel High School in 1997. After high school, she attended beauty school until starting a family. Odessa met her husband in high school and had two children: Presley (13) and Jolie (10).

Odessa went back to work in the salon until carpal tunnel took its toll. She found her way to the Tool Rental working at the front counter. Customer service is her strength, so when Surface Prep had an opening, she was a perfect fit. Odessa is responsible for sending our customers their tracking information, and she bills out their invoices. She is a great addition to our team and has been part of our family for years.

She enjoys spending time with her children, her cats, and she does photography on the side. Her dad has worked for Runyon for 42 years; the only thing that has changed is that his mustache is much smaller. The picture below is from 20 years ago! Odessa’s brother, Seth, also works in the business. He started when he was 15 years old working for a former Runyon business – Party Time Rental. We’re excited for the next generation of Tynans to join the family!

Odessa Tynan

 

Odessa’s Contact Info:

317.559.0811

odessa@runyonrental.com