This section has been reviewed and updated as needed: May 2014

Purpose

To promote accepted safety practices in all abrasive blasting operations, as well as provide for personal protection of employees performing the blasting or working in the area of the blasting.

Scope

The requirements shall apply to University operations where open or enclosed abrasive blasting is performed by or in close proximity to employees.

Mechanical Precautions

  1. Machines and hoses are to be inspected frequently and all parts showing excessive wear repaired or replaced.
  2. Nozzles are to be externally attached to the hose by a fitting which will prevent accidental disengagement.
  3. Lengths of hose are to be joined by external metallic connectors.
  4. A remote control “deadman” valve is to be provided.
  5. A support is to be provided on which the nozzle may be mounted when it is not in use.
  6. Pressure balst vessels are to be manufactured in accordance with the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VII the most recent edition.

Personal Protective Equipment

  1. Operators are to be equipped with heavy canvas, rubber or leather gloves and aprons. Safety shoes are also to be worn.
  2. Eye, face and respiratory protection are to be supplied to all personnel working in the vicinity of abrasive blasting operations.
  3. Precautions are to be taken to protect personnel in the blasting zone, including the blasting operator, from excessive noise exposure by supplying ear plugs or muffs.
  4. A supplied air blaster’s hood is to be worn by the employee(s) performing the blasting. Vortex tubes which cool or heat the air supply to the blaster’s hood should be considered depending on season and exposure to heat sources. Grade D breathing air shall be provided.

Housekeeping and Sanitation

  1. Good housekeeping practices are to be followed in abrasive blasting operation to prevent slips, trips and falls.
  2. A change shed or some facility should be available, in a dust free area, for blasters to take breaks, eat lunch, etc. These activities should not be permitted in the blasting area. Wash facilities are also to be provided.
  3. Hoses that supply air to the blasting hood must not be placed where vehicles or movable equipment can cause damage.

Engineering and Administrative Dust Control Methods

  1. Substitution
    1. If a practical substitute with a health hazard less than silica sand can be used, it should be used.
    2. Precautions are to be taken when substituting more expensive abrasive material for silica sand. Expensive substitutes are reused and an accumulation of toxic dust from paints and coating material may present an additional hazard.
    3. If there is no practical substitute for sand, then use the sand of maximum hardness readily available. All sand used for blasting to be washed and graded. The largest size grade commensurate with job requirements is to be used.
  2. Application
    1. If practical, blasting should be done with water injection to moisten the dust particles thus reducing airborne particles. Wet blasting is especially applicable to masonry and concrete.
  3. Isolation
    1. As much of the blasting as possible is to be done in a specified location. A blasting zone (where dust is visible) should be established and marked off with signs.

      CAUTION
      ABRASIVE BLASTING AREA, EYE AND EAR PROTECTION
      AND RESPIRATORS MUST BE WORN IN THIS AREA

    2. Another way to isolate the blasting is to do it on an “off shift” when few other employees are working.
  4. Enclosure
    1. Blasting of small objects is to be done in an enclosure which is designed to specifically reduce the dust hazards.