Nol-Tec Offers Dust Mitigation Solutions for OSHA’s New Respirable Crystalline Silica Rule

Earlier this year, OSHA (the Occupational Health and Safety Administration) announced its “final rule” regarding respirable crystalline silica. In the works since 2013, the new rule reduces the permissible exposure limit (or PEL) for workers in a number of industries where workers are frequently exposed to respirable crystalline silica.

A Decades-Late Update

Crystalline silica is a common mineral that is one of the building blocks of materials such as rock/stone, sand, concrete, brick, and mortar. Exposure to this substance is common in workplace operations that involve the cutting, drilling, crushing, and handling of these materials. This includes those found in construction, glass manufacturing, sand blasting, concrete production, and other industrial processes, as well as other, less obvious applications, such as dental laboratories and jewelry production.

For their part, OSHA admits that the dangers of respirable crystalline silica have been well known for more than 80 years. In their official overview of the final rule, the organization states that “Workers who inhale very small crystalline silica particles are at increased risk of developing serious—and often deadly—silica-related diseases” including silicosis (an incurable and sometimes fatal lung disease), lung cancer, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and kidney disease. OSHA notes that approximately 2.3 million Americans are exposed to silica at work each year.

OSHA’s current PELs for the substance have not been updated since the 1960s, however, and evidence gathered in the decades since shows that the current exposure limits do not adequately protect worker health. “[Since] the current exposure limits were adopted,” OSHA’s overview states, “respirable crystalline silica exposure has been found to cause lung cancer and kidney disease at the levels currently permitted.” Once the full effects of the rule are implemented, the new standards are expected to save more than 600 lives and prevent over 900 cases of silicosis annually.

Nol-Tec Has the Compliance Solution You Need

Under OSHA’s new rule, employers whose workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica are required to, among other measures, implement controls and work practices to limit employee exposure to silica dust.

The best and most effective solution for limiting exposure to harmful dust is to limit the creation of that dust. Nol-Tec Systems offers complete, high efficiency, customizable material handling solutions that will minimize breakage of your materials and significantly reduce dust.

To further limit workers’ exposure to dust, our dense and dilute phase pneumatic conveying systems are fully enclosed to prevent dust from escaping into your facility’s atmosphere.

We will conduct on-site evaluations of your processes, as needed, and conduct small-scale trials in our testing lab—using the actual materials you work with—to create a particulate control solution that provides efficient and effective protection against respirable crystalline silica exposure.

OSHA’s ruling gives employers one to five years to get their safety solutions in place, depending on the size of the company and their specific processes. Five years may seem like a long time, but, as there are thousands of employers across the country that will be working to meet the new standards, solutions providers will be booked up fast, and likely far into the future.

You don’t want to be stuck on a waiting list when the time for your inspection rolls around—contact Nol-Tec today to get started on the respirable crystalline silica solution you and your employees need.

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Nol-Tec

Nol-Tec Systems was established in 1983, and has since grown to be one of the most knowledgeable solution providers in the dry bulk materials handling industry. We balance the technical expertise of our staff with original ideas in order to provide custom-engineered pneumatic conveying solutions, bulk material handling, dry sorbent injection and emissions control solutions, and integrated control systems.

Our customers are industry leaders, and come in a variety of sizes and industries from small foundries to multi-national food manufacturers. Our work ranges from projects with large utilities for mercury abatement, to pneumatic conveying systems for plastic pellets, to pneumatic material handling for proppant (frac sand) suppliers, and more. We can handle dry bulk materials quickly, efficiently, and with a system specifically designed for your particular needs.

The diversity of our employees is one of our biggest assets. Collectively, they have more than 100 years of experience in the industry, and have handled countless materials in a wide variety of applications. Our staff members provide excellent service to fulfill your ever-changing project needs.

Learn about Nol-Tec’s passion for partnership with our customers and how our exceptional staff makes the difference in handling success for them by watching our new introductory video.

Introduction to Nol-Tec Systems

 

 

Pneumatic Conveying and Bulk Material Handling – Part 2

Pneumatic conveying and bulk material handling are our specialties, and we work with our clients to design custom-engineered systems from proposal through installation. Our mechanical and electrical engineers have years of hands-on experience. So we know how to combat challenges, and make economic recommendations to ensure optimal performance. We pride ourselves in offering services that assist our clients with custom engineered pneumatic conveying systems that are cutting edge in the industry.

Here at Nol-Tec, we have two main areas of focus within our business – pneumatic bulk materials conveying for general industrial applications and also dry sorbent injection systems for the air pollution mitigation industry. Our Sorb-N-Ject technology has been used to successfully at more than 50 electrical power generating units and industrial boilers. Most dry sorbent injection systems have been deployed in coal-fired electrical generating facilities to mitigate SO3 and Hg, along with the removal of SO2 and HCl. In general, hydrated lime (for SO3 removal) and powdered activated carbon (for mercury removal) are the most common sorbent materials used, but sodium bicarbonate and trona are used as well

We work with end users, owners, engineers, and sorbent suppliers to design the optimal system to deliver the proper sorbent material into your facility in a controlled and verifiable manner. Our system design can include components to unload the chemical into on-site storage silos. We know that moisture control in the chemical unload, storage, and transfer system is essential, so we design accordingly.

When it comes to dry sorbent injection solutions, no two power plant designs are the same.  We know that fuel compositional fluctuations can occur, so we conduct injection field trials, along with duct flow modeling, in order to determine answers as to how these variables affect your system design. Our main goal is to anticipate potential challenges, by researching and developing the application solution and pointing you in the right direction to avoid possible difficulties.

Click here to read the first part of this series. 

Pneumatic Conveying and Bulk Material Handling – Part 1

Nol-Tec Systems specializes in pneumatic dry bulk materials handling for a wide variety of industries. We work with our clients to design custom-engineered system solutions from proposal through installation. Our mechanical and electrical engineers are experienced, so they know how to anticipate challenges, and make economic recommendations to ensure optimal performance. We’re proud to offer innovative, customized service that is cutting edge in the industry.

Industry segments covered include food processing, ceramics, building materials, plastics, rubber, pollution mitigation and foundry, to name a few. We transfer the materials through pneumatic conveying, where air or a similar type of gas is used to move the substance through an enclosed pipeline. This can be done either by pressure or vacuum, dense or dilute phase, depending on the material and its characteristics.

In the industries we support, there are a number of variables in the materials that need to be transported. Particle size, distribution, bulk density, abrasiveness, toxicity, cohesiveness, moisture content and friability must be taken into consideration when designing a conveying system. In addition, the system design must consider rate, power requirements, transport distances, layout and footprint of the current processing system, and operating costs. It’s extremely important that you work with an experienced pneumatic conveying system designer to avoid potential pitfalls.

With over 30 years of experience, Nol-Tec offers the expertise you need. From start to finish, we anticipate potential challenges, configure the ideal design, oversee the installation process, and provide you with service across the full lifecycle of your equipment. Whether you require dilute phase (particles fully suspended in a low pressure, high velocity environment) or dense phase (non-suspended particles, moving in a high pressure, low velocity atmosphere), our team has the background and specialized knowledge needed to make the most cost effective and efficient decisions with you.

In the next post we will discuss how Nol-Tec has taken its pneumatic conveying expertise into the arena of pollution mitigation for fossil fueled electrical generation facilities and industrial boilers using our Sorb-N-Ject technology.

 

Continue Reading in Part Two

Welcome to the Nol-tec Systems Blog

Nol-Tec Systems is one of the most knowledgeable solution providers in the dry bulk materials handling industry. We balance the technical expertise of our staff with original ideas in order to provide custom-engineered pneumatic conveying solutions, bulk material handling, dry sorbent injection and emissions control solutions, and integrated control systems. Our customers are industry leaders and our partners. We invite you to join us here for discussions of the industry and issues that matter to you.