SIKA'S LOW DUST MORTAR SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES
Starting in 2018, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a subset of the US Department of Labor, put into effect a new standard that was aimed at reducing the exposure of construction workers to respirable silica. While silica is an extremely common material found naturally, many construction materials, such as concrete, stone and mortar, also contain significant amounts of silica. Actions such as cutting, grinding, drilling, etc. concrete could create very fine particles of silica 100 times smaller than normal beach sand that have been shown to increase the risk of silicosis and other serious diseases. This standard was not aimed at reducing the amount of silica used in standard materials but focused on protecting the front-line workers from the potentially harmful effects of long-time exposure.
With over 2.3 million Americans exposed to silica at work, it is the duty of not just the government, but the individuals involved to provide a safer, more sustainable work environment.
Sika has incorporated low-dust formulas into various of their mortar products to meet current OSHA regulations. SikaQuick VOH LD and SikaQuick 1000 LD are variations of existing SikaQuick mortar products that have been reduced by 71% and 80% respectively. These reductions were confirmed by utilizing a sedimentation dust measuring system. Although Sika has made changes to these products, construction companies will still need to follow the alternative exposure control methods:
- Measure the amount of silica that workers are exposed to if it may be at or above an action level of 25 μg/m3 (micrograms of silica per cubic meter of air), averaged over an eight-hour day.
- Protect workers from respirable crystalline silica exposures above the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 50 μg/m3, averaged over an eight-hour day.
- Use dust controls to protect workers from silica exposures above the PEL.
- Provide respirators to workers when dust controls cannot limit exposures to the PEL.
Ultimately, Sika will continue their efforts to innovate products that align with the ever-changing regulations of the industry.
SIKA PRODUCT SOLUTION
See our complete list of low dust mortars!
SikaQuick VOH Product Teaser
Watch our quick teaser video to see SikaQuick VOH in action along with our SikaQuick VOH LD option!
SikaQuick VOH Product Highlight
Watch our SikaQuick VOH Highlight video to gain more insight to this impressive product and how it can make your projects a breeze!