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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RSP Slurry Processing System – Reduce, Remove & Reuse

Runyon Surface Prep’s Slurry Processing System simplifies the task of what to do with jobsite concrete mud when wet grinding.

The growing popularity of wet-polishing and the use of power trowel machines (that must be run wet) increases the need for an efficient and economical solution to slurry removal. More wet work is being done to reduce silica levels on job sites, increase safety and to meet the new OSHA Silica Standard. Runyon Surface Prep’s Slurry Processing System uses the innovative products from Slurry Solutions to facilitate the handling of concrete slurry. This system reduces the amount of waste material to discard, removes heavy metal contaminants, lowers pH and reuses the separated water back on the job.

Science Wins in the War on Slurry

The science behind Slurry Solutions products centers around separating suspended solids from the water. Adding the MudDog SlurrySep flocculant causes particles to clump together and settle to the bottom of the mixing bag. This treated waste-water is then filtered through a de-watering slurry bag  after which the treated-water can be pumped out for use or disposed of. SlurryDry is a polymer that, when added to the remaining slurry, coagulates the liquid into a dry solid. The resulting solid matter can now be safely disposed of in a landfill without worry of contaminating groundwater. Use Slurry Destroyer to aid in the clean-up and removal of concrete slurry from equipment. It turns hardened sludge into a soft substance for quicker removal. For more detailed step-by-step instructions, visit our website or review these photos documenting the use of Slurry Solutions products on a recent 30,000 sq. ft. warehouse project.

Suggested Equipment List

Keep Toxins Out of the Ground and Water

Why all the anxiety over disposing of concrete mud? Besides avoiding hefty EPA fines, using outdated methods to dispose of slurry can be costly. Toxic materials such as glues, oils, mastic, fertilizers and solvents can be present in the concrete substrate you prep. Working wet does protect crews from breathing these carcinogens, but it does not eliminate them. Toxins leach into our oceans, rivers and water table. Letting slurry dry without removing contaminants only allows it to become airborne sediment. This residual dust clogs our waterways, causing $16 billion in damage each year.

Disposal of Slurry is Part of the Job

Planning on how to handle slurry is part of the project, not an afterthought. Incorporate it into your job plans from the start. Research different methods to eliminate concrete mud and make the decision that works for your company, crew and budget. Here are some suggestions on how to include plans for eliminating waste in your job preparations.

Ways to Effectively Manage Slurry Disposal

  • Review your slurry management and disposal plan early
  • Understand the EPA regulations as well as state and local laws
  • Inspect the original substrate for possible toxins
  • Determine how to collect and store slurry
  • Test the substrate for contaminants
  • Conduct periodic pH tests
  • Plan for accidental leaks or spills
  • Dispose of the slurry while adhering to EPA/state/local guidelines

RSP Slurry Processing System

Proper containment and disposal of concrete slurry is what every professional in our industry deals with under the watchful eye of the EPA. Turn this essential chore into an effective elimination strategy with Runyon’s Slurry Processing System and Slurry Solutions’ innovative products. The science behind this new technique makes discarding job site mud fast, easy and environmentally sound. It lets you focus on the project and less on how to manage the messy aftermath.

For the full look at the Runyon Trowel Systems, check out our Guide to Power Trowel Polishing booklet.

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.

RSP Strip-N-Scrub System Rejuvenates, Strips & Deep Cleans

Runyon Power Strip N' Scrub SystemRunyon Surface Prep’s Strip-N-Scrub System easily restores heavily soiled concrete or terrazzo floors when used on a power trowel machine. It can also be used to quickly and efficiently remove sealers, including cure and seals, from concrete

By using non-woven floor pads, this innovative system increases the functionality and versatility of your power trowel. The pads and drivers are simple to attach, easy to use and improve the versatility of an 8-foot power trowel machine. The system works for many types of applications (restoration, stripping and cleaning) and keeps your workflow progressing smoothly.

The Power Strip N’ Scrub System set-up for an 8-foot trowel machine includes:

Steel Float Pans Anchor This System

The two Kraft Tool ProForm float pans in this system are made of heavy-duty #10-gauge steel, providing strength and durability. The edges are beveled with a .125-inch rise to keep them from digging into the concrete. Each pan fits over five power trowel blades and is held securely in place by two clips. The two float pans have five velcro drivers to hold the applicator pads. You can extend their service life by rotating the steel float pans periodically.

Rejuvenate Polished Concrete & Terrazzo

The Power Strip N’ Scrub System expands a power trowel’s work potential from applications to restoration, stripping and maintenance. Light restoration / rejuvenation of a previously polished concrete or terrazzo floor only requires attaching diamond impregnated pads on each float pan. Using diamond impregnated pads in progressively finer grits in sequence will restore the refinement of a lightly worn previously polished substrate to a high aesthetic level.

Stripping Sealers (Including Cure and Seals)

Thoroughly removing a sealer from a concrete floor is a hassle without the right products. Using the Power Strip N’ Scrub System with  46-inch black stripping pad in conjunction with a chemical stripping agent, most sealers can be quickly and efficiently removed.

Scrub & Densify

You can also use a power trowel to scrub in a chemical hardener or densifier to a concrete floor. These reactive silicate/silicanate liquids chemically react with the calcium hydroxide present in the concrete, forming a harder, denser substrate that is more impact and abrasion resistant. Many densifiers require agitation during the application to properly penetrate and react and using a power trowel outfitted with black non-woven pads to provide this agitation is an extremely efficient method for this.

Deep Clean with a Power Trowel Machine

The 8-foot path of a power trowel machine creates an efficiency advantage when deep cleaning large areas. Paired with heavy-duty cleaners or de-greasers, the system quickly and capably clean the dirtiest of surfaces and provides deep-clean results every time.

RSP Power Strip N’ Scrub System

Maximize your team’s productivity with a versatile pad attachment kit like the Runyon Surface Prep Power Strip N’ Scrub system. It expands the scope of work your power trowel machine can accomplish. Keep your crew working efficiently and boost your completion rate by adding one of these systems to your trowel machine.

For the full look at the Runyon Trowel Systems, check out our Guide to Power Trowel Polishing booklet.

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.

RSP Magnetic Preload Attachments Get Ride-On Trowels Back to Work

Runyon Magnetic Preload SystemRunyon Surface Prep’s Magnetic Preload System allows for fast tooling changes, which means less downtime on the job.

A ride on power trowel is a game changer when it comes to productivity on large polishing jobs, however many of the methods used to attach diamond tools to the trowels require an inordinate amount of time to move from one grit to another, killing momentum with un-needed downtime.

With Runyon Surface Prep’s Magnetic Preload System, your production stays on track. This versatile system boosts efficiency by having a second set of tools prepped, ready and waiting. Switching from one grit to another happens in seconds. This system is not only ideal for power trowels; auto scrubbers and swing machines can also benefit from this innovative attachment system.

Easy Access to a Variety of Tools

The Magnetic Preload System allows for the fast and efficient changing of any 3″ velcro-backed tooling on a standard 14″ or 16″ pad driver. The system consists of a stainless steel ring that bolts to the pad driver and high density polymer tool holder rings with embedded magnets on one side and six recessed slots for 3″ velcro backed puck style tools on the other.

To change tools, simply pull off the polymer tool holder currently on the driver and slide a new, fully loaded polymer tool holder on. Alignment bosses on the stainless steel ring, with corresponding guide holes on the polymer rings make achieving a secure and proper placement automatic. Each setup comes with one stainless steel ring and two polymer tool holders, so you can always have your next step of tools loaded and ready to go

Consider pairing this system with the quality tools in the Runyon Surface Prep diamond tooling line (the RSP Q8 Turbo Tulips, RSP Copper Transitionals and RSP Wet Slick Resins) to maximize your production efforts.

Large Jobs Need a Ride-On Trowel Machine

A ride-on trowel machine is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment available. It finishes, as well as polishes floors. Using a power trowel can reduce labor by 75% while still covering up to 10,000 sq. ft. per hour per grit. The machine’s wet process eliminates airborne silica hazards, creating a safer work environment for your crew.

Wondering what type of ride-on trowel works well with the RSP Magnetic Preload System? The Multiquip HHXDF5 Dual Fuel Ride-On Trowel works seamlessly with it and possesses some very innovative features:

  • A Powerful 31hp Kubota Engine – A 4-cylinder dual-fuel (gas or propane) motor
  • Clam Shell Design – Allows for convenient access to serviceable parts
  • Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) – Constantly adjusts the drive ratio to obtain torque and speed
  • Helical Gearbox – The industry’s most efficient, coolest-running and trouble-free design
  • LED Lighting – State of the art illumination for nighttime or indoor work
  • 12V Outlet – For charging cell phones
  • Spider Assemblies – Features long-lasting wear plates and spider hubs. Can be economically rebuilt if needed
  • Twin Pitch Control – Allows for simultaneous and individual pitch control of the rotors
  • Large 10-Gallon Gas Tank
  • Unit Holds 33.5 lbs. of Propane

For the full look at the Runyon Trowel Systems, check out our Guide to Power Trowel Polishing booklet.

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.

Mixing Station Best Practices for Your Next Polishable Overlay Project

Adding portable Hippo mixers and Pelican carts to your TRU concrete mixing station makes quick and easy work of your overlay application.

CTS TRU Mixing Station

Do you want to improve your productivity? Achieving the right configuration of mixing equipment and supplies is not always easy. Without the appropriate equipment in your arsenal, work slows down and it costs you money. Arranging the perfect mix station set-up eliminates the need for a large crew. It reduces your team’s extreme physical exertion and boosts productivity. Employees can mix, pour and polish concrete overlays in record time. Learn more about the most user-friendly and efficient system you need (in our expert opinion). Click here for the PDF Guide.

The Ideal Overlay Mixing Station Set-up (capable of producing 3,000 sqft/hr):

  • (4) CS Unitec Portamix Hippo mixers*
  • (3) CS Unitec Portamix Pelican carts*
  • (4) 1,000 lbs. capacity hydraulic carts
  • (2) 5 buckets*
  • (1) Midwest Rake gauge rake & cams*
  • (1) Pair of shoe-in blunt spiked shoes*
  • (2) Porcupine rollers* (1 for TRU and TRU Gray; 1 for TRU PC1)
  • (3) Bucket strainers* (for Pelican carts)
  • (1) 55 gal. drum or wheeled trash can
  • (4) Digital timers
  • Weatherstripping
  • Gorilla tape

(*Available through Runyon Surface Prep)

The Mighty Mega Hippo Mixer

With only one operator, a single CS Unitec Portamix® Mega Hippo mixer handles up to six bags of CTS RapidSet® TRU self-leveling cement per load. It can manage 50-60 bags/hr and produces 750-900 sqft of overlayment. The easy-rolling, easy-tilt cradle can pour and spread at the same time, eliminating the need for multi-stage applications to achieve a thicker screed.

CS Unitec Portamix® Mega Hippo Mixer

  • Ideal for polymer self-leveling products and engineered concrete
  • High torque, 15 amp 2-geared motor
  • Full brim capacity of 23 gallons/ 350 lbs of mix
  • Specially shaped bowl eliminates unmixed product
  • 9-inch diameter paddles produce consistent and thorough mixing
  • Liners are available to prevent cross-contamination and for easy clean-up
  • Use splatter lid and dust extraction port to create a cleaner, safer work environment
  • OSHA and personal PPE compliant
  • Accessories and different sized paddles are also available

Keep Mixing While the Pelicans Pour

Create an uninterrupted workflow by using your Mega Hippo mixers with a series of CS Unitec Portamix® Pelican Carts. While the Hippos mix, the Pelicans can transport and pour, eliminating the need for work stoppage. These welded-frame carts have heavy-duty casters capable of 360-degree maneuverability. Their large handle design allows for easy steering and accurate, controlled dispensing.

Little Downtime Keeps Customers Coming Back

Reduce your customer’s downtime by using a quick curing overlay material like CTS RapidSet® TRU. With a variety of self-leveling overlayments, RapidSet is designed to cure and set in 6-12 hours. Wait 24 hours before polishing. To assist with this process, check which CTS epoxy primer is needed for the overlay product, as well as the concrete application accessories (e.g. spiked shoes and porcupine rollers) needed for the job.

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.

The Importance of Personal Protective Equipment

The Importance of Personal Protective EquipmentIn a dozen plus years in the construction industry, I have witnessed first-hand the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) many times. Minor incidents that could have resulted in catastrophic injury, but for the proper PPE being utilized, and serious injuries that could have been prevented or ameliorated had the proper PPE been used. While protective garments and equipment can be cumbersome and at times uncomfortable, and while jobsite PPE requirements can at times seem onerous or ridiculous, proper use of safety equipment can prevent life-altering, or even life-ending, injuries.

It needs to be pointed out that the two most important aspects to keeping oneself safe and whole are situational awareness and adherence to proper safe operating procedures. No amount of safety equipment can protect one if they are grossly inattentive or if they sacrifice safety for the sake of expediency. ‘Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.’

Statistics from OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics highlight the importance of PPE, showing that:

  1. Hard hats were worn by only 16% of those workers who sustained head injuries, although two-fifths were required to wear them for certain tasks at specific locations
  2. Only 1% of approximately 770 workers suffering face injuries were wearing face protection
  3. Only 23% of the workers with foot injuries wore safety shoes or boots
  4. About 40% of the workers with eye injuries wore eye protective equipment

A majority of these workers were injured while performing their normal jobs at regular worksites.

For further information and sources, see the links below. Stay safe out there!

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.

Efficient Slurry Management on Large Power Trowel Polishing Job

With the rising trends of wet polishing, due to not only preference but also the new OSHA Silica Standard, and trowel machine polishing, which must be run wet, the need for a streamlined slurry management process is key. While there is no “one answer” for how to most efficiently and economically dispose of slurry, our manufacturers and our own outside sales reps strive to help provide solutions for concrete polishing contractors facing this dilemma. Here’s an example of one customer who teamed up with our rep Mark Critchfield from Slurry Solutions to achieve just that. Read on to see how…

This project involved a 30,000 square-foot warehouse utilizing Runyon’s new MPS Magnetic Preload System, ride-on trowel polishing technology, with very high production rates. Slurry was collected with a floor scrubber and deposited into a low profile slurry containment tray for easy unloading. 1 cup of SlurrySep was then added and mixed with a trash pump until the flocculant is activated. After the particle size was ready, it was then pumped into the big dog slurry bin with a dewatering filter bag mounted inside. As the clean water passed through the filter, it was pumped from the outside of the bag back onto the floor for reuse. This significantly reduced the overall water usage on the project. 6000 square-feet used only 300 gallons of water. If preferred, the slurry can also go directly to solidification and disposal.

Slurry Solutions provides sustainable solutions for job site pollution. Slurry Solutions works hard to bring the concrete industry new ideas, solutions and technology to the age old problem of wastewater treatment and concrete silt management. Slurry Solutions is the market leader for decades in wastewater treatment chemistry; it’s designed to protect the environment and contractors from EPA fines.

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.