When operating a portable plant on a crushing job, it pays to follow proper safety procedures to ensure the wellbeing of the work crew. Large and small rocks can all present significant safety hazards, but even the process of crushing these rocks can present hazards as well.
Crushing materials like aggregate, concrete, and asphalt can create a fine dust that, when inhaled, can cause respiratory damage. This is why it is necessary to properly suppress the dust to protect the portable crushing plant operators and crew.
Agencies like OSHA mandate proper dust suppression around portable crushing plants, and OSHA in particular recommends options like “wet methods” and “operator isolation” for managing dust and protecting nearby workers.
The wet methods entail suppressing the crushed rock dust with swaths of water droplets sprayed from nearby hose nozzles. OSHA recommends making sure the water nozzles thoroughly wet the dust with complete coverage.
The operator isolation method entails utilizing an enclosed booth or remote-control station in order to separate the crushing operator from the dust-affected area. OSHA recommends the booth be well-sealed and well-ventilated or that the remote-control station be located sufficiently upwind.
OSHA describes that when used in tandem, the wet methods and operator isolation method provide sufficient protection for the crushing crew from the dust and should not require additional respiratory protection.
Although, steps should be taken to ensure the wellbeing of the portable crushing plant team so that they are able to operate safely. If respiratory protection is found to be needed on a crushing job, it should be provided accordingly.
This article does not serve as an official safety recommendation by Eagle Crusher and should not be viewed as such. All relevant staff should consult their owner’s manual before operating Eagle Crusher equipment, or any other manufacturer’s equipment, and comply with the safety guidelines therein.
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