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OSHA Fines Pier Contractor for Silica Exposure

A South Carolina contractor is facing an $81,000 bill from federal regulators after a safety inspection at a marine terminal allegedly turned up violations related to silica exposure.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed $81,489 in fines for Cape Romain Contractors Inc., of Wando, based on a scheduled inspection that took place in March. The agency issued the company 11 “serious” and three “other” violations related to work that was being done at Berth 1 of Mt. Pleasant’s Wando Welch Terminal, the largest marine terminal in the Port of Charleston.

The Citations

According to OSHA, workers who were using pneumatic tools to remove delaminated concrete from piles underneath the pier at the terminal were not equipped with the proper respiratory equipment to protect them from dust containing respirable crystalline silica.

OSHA issued 11 “serious” and three “other” violations related to work that was being done at Berth 1 of Mt. Pleasant’s Wando Welch Terminal, the largest marine terminal in the Port of Charleston.

OSHA says workers were exposed to respirable silica at concentrations of up to 2.68 times the permissible exposure limit of 0.4 micrograms per cubic meter, as a time-weighted average over 8 hours.

Cape Romain, the agency says, did not implement sufficient engineering controls in order to limit workers’ exposure to respirable crystalline silica. Pneumatic angle grinders and chipping hammers being used on the job were not outfitted with dust collection or water delivery systems that would have prevented much of the respirable dust from becoming airborne.

There was not a designated administrator for respiratory protection at the site, the agency alleges, and the contractor did not conduct air monitoring to ensure workers’ safety during the concrete removal.

OSHA also lists a number of other violations related to the fit-testing and cleaning of respirators that were used, medical evaluations that should have been conducted prior to fit-testing, respirator training and respirator fit issues related to workers’ facial hair.

Epoxy Violation

The mixing of epoxy materials was also the source of a violation at the site; OSHA says an eyewash was not provided in the area where workers were mixing a three-part marine epoxy grout and a two-part structural epoxy adhesive.

OSHA also cited the company for violations related to railings, lamps, fan blades, fuel tanks and other items that allegedly posed a safety risk.

According to Cape Romain’s website, the company is currently contracted by the South Carolina State Ports Authority for the $38 million rehabilitation of the Wando Welch Terminal Wharf Structure. The project, which includes repairs to the concrete piles, pile cap and deck as well as the addition of steel piles, is expected to be complete early next year.

In addition to work on marine structures and trip walls, Cape Romain also builds and repairs bridges. The firm has faced no other violations from OSHA in the past five years.

According to an OSHA spokesperson, the company has scheduled an informal conference to discuss the fines. Cape Romain did not immediately return a request for comment Monday (June 5).



In the 1960's, the blasting community started to recognize that the inhalation of free silica was the could be the cause of a variety of problems associated silicosis, including lung cancer. OSHA created a rule meant to encourage employers to keep workers from this hazard, however, exposure to crystalline silica was found to be even more dangerous than previously thought. OSHA has created a Final Rule that further limits worker's exposure to this dangerous material based on these new findings, Now besides protective equipment and wearing a respirator, the law also demands that "engineering controls" be used to reduce the amount of silica dust going into the air.

With the Graco, Greener Blast, Clemco or dustless blasting equipment, nuisance dust is water suppressed . Since the dustless blasting is compatible with GlassBlast you are using an environmentally friendly blast media. For situations where wet blasting is not an option, the Dustless Blaster is a more than capable dry blaster as well.

But simpler OSHA compliance isn't the only advantage the Dustless Blaster has over traditional sandblasting equipment. The Dustless Blaster isextremely reliableand durable, has very few wear parts, uses less abrasive than dry blasting systems, andremoves tough coatings fasterthan other methods.

Note: This is only a simple overview of the rule, be sure to learn the details to make sure you comply.

For more information on OSHA’s Final Rule to Protect Worker from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica got to https://www.osha.gov/silica/



HOUSTON, TX (January 25, 2017) . . .Strategic Materials announced today the launch of an improved air blast abrasive product, TruAbrasive ​​, made from 100% recycled glass. The product is expected to be available April of this year.

The crushed glass abrasive was developed specifically for performance and quality through both extensive blast and laboratory testing, and operational investments in equipment and processes. The product will continue to be known for worker health and environmental benefits, as its predecessor New Age Blast Media has held for many years. Strategic Materials acquired the New Age Blast Media product in 2015.

The company boasts crushed glass abrasive is superior to current abrasive products in the marketplace for health benefits to the worker. Unlike commonly used abrasives such as silica sand or slags, crushed glass abrasives do not cause worker concern for free crystalline silica and toxic metal exposure. Along with innate health benefits, production improvements will allow for a cleaner, higher-performance product.

“We’ve always believed crushed glass abrasive is the future for the surface preparation industry, and that’s why we continue to invest in it,” Denis Suggs, President and CEO, Strategic Materials continued, “As the recycling glass leader in the North America, our expertise in processing glass makes us well suited to bring value to the industry and elevate glass abrasive offerings.”M

The abrasive product will officially launch in the spring, and will phase out New Age Blast Media throughout the year.

About Strategic Materials Throughout the more than 100 year history, Strategic Materials has remained focused on creating value for customers through innovation and customer improvement. Today, Strategic Materials is the market leader and largest glass recycler in North America, operating in over 50 locations. Strategic Materials’ processed materials are sold to manufacturers to make a diverse set of products including glass containers, fiberglass insulation, highway bead, air blast abrasives and fillers.


The City of Palm Springs has purchased a Dustless Blasting Machine to sandblast concrete in their downtown area. There is now way they would be able to do this without creating a giant mess in one of the cities more popular areas. Congratulations to the City of Palm Springs for seeing the value of dustless sandblasting.



ATTEND EVENTS AND SHOWS- One of the best ways to get your name out there is to be proactive in the community you want to serve. If you're wanting to strip cars, haul your Dustless Blasting machine out to every car show and cruise night you can find. Simply talk to people about what you can do, and give them your business card. I know a local DB owner who averages 3-4 cars per week, and he's met most of those customers at the car shows he visits each weekend! This will also work with boat shows. To find local auto shows, Car Show Finder is a good resource.

NETWORK WITH OTHER BUSINESSES- Auto shops are sick of towing cars to sand blasters and waiting days for them to be finished. Show them what you can do! They might give you recurring work on a regular basis! Painting companies, powder coaters, and swimming pool companies are some other good businesses to partner with. Even your local power washing business likely turns down tough jobs occasionally. Negotiate a finder's fee for the jobs they pass on to you, and everybody wins!

GET ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA- Back in the day, when contractors wanted to show off their work, they'd present a photo album full of pictures to potential customers. Today, that photo album is Facebook. It's the easiest way to share photos and videos of what you're doing. Social networks, as you might imagine from the name, are great for networking! If a car guy talks about something on his page, all his car guy friends can see it. Imagine if he's talking about your service! Set up a Facebook Business page and every time you do work for a company try to tag their page in the pictures you post. This will allow everyone who likes their page to see your post.


Dustless Sandblasting was chosen to dress the concrete on Pier 27 on the Embarcadero in San Francisco, California. Due to the environmental issues and pedestrian traffic using a vapor abrasive system eliminated issues of water pollution and dust. The contractor used GlassBlast blast media because of availability in the Bay area.


KleenBlast the largest distributor of blast media on the West Coast has signed a agreement with RECM to distribute GlassBlast a crushed recycled glass used for sandblasting. KleenBlast has location in Tacoma Washington, Portland Oregon, Hayward California, Rancho Cucamonga California and Chula Vista California.


EcoQuip equipment is now available through Sherman-Williams the largest paint supplier in the world. This will give the coating and painting contractors a place to purchase preparation equipment along with their coatings.


Vapor Abrasive Blast Equipment Manufacturer EcoQuip has been purchased by Graco one of the world’s leading manufacturer of spray equipment. EcoQuip sandblasting equipment is 97% dustless and uses GlassBlast Fine as a blast media. GlassBlast has been specified as the blast media for many projects around the world with the EcoQuip dustless sandblasting systems.


If you plan on attending the world of concrete you be able to see dustless sandblasting demonstrated by GlassBlast and EcoQuip. The demos will be live every 15 minutes and factory representatives will be on hand to answer all you question on the sandblasting equipment and glass for sandblasting.


When you use a vapor abrasive system for blasting precast concrete panels you will end up with a uniform color. If you are trying to expose the aggregate, create a uniform or clean up imperfections, blasting with glass abrasive is preferred. Your spent media grit is white in color and cleanup is more a house keeping issue than disposal.

Cardinal Sales Construction Equipment & Supplies

Date: 3/8/2013

GlassBlast is very pleased to announce that our expansion into the New England market will be represented by Cardinal Sales Construction Equipment & Supplies. Cardinal Sales is a manufacturer's representative company serving the construction industry for over 25 years.

GlassBlast will now be fully represented in the states of ME, VT, NH, CT, RI, NY, NJ, PA, MD, DE, CA and Washington D.C., with a warehouse in New York City. We welcome twelve reps and their extensive product knowledge to our team.

Cardinal Sales can be reached by calling 800-222-4344, or email President Patrick DeVitto at pdevitto@cardinalreps.com to be put in contact with your local area rep.

World of Concrete

Date: 2/6/2013

EcoQuip Equipment and GlassBlast will team up at the World of Concrete to demonstrate the EQ 300 during the show. Come by booth O 030866 at the Las Vegas Convention Center February 5th-8th. The World of Concrete is one of the largest contractor oriented shows in the world.

Gonneville Dustless Sandblasting Seminars

Date: 1/13/2013

Gonneville Inc. to host hands on Dustless Sandblasting seminar in San Clemente, Calif. Gonneville Inc., a West Coast distributor for EcoQuip Equipment, will host a seminar that will explain the features and benefits of Vapor Abrasive Blast Equipment. Some of the areas of blasting that will be discussed are, environmentally friendly blast medias and disposal of spent media.

Rik Gagnon of GlassBlast will present the dos and don'ts when it comes to crushed glass and Jeff Johnson of US Technology Inc. will discuss when and how to recycle blast media that has be contaminated in the blasting process.

The most anticipated part of the seminar will be the hand on use of the EcoQuip Blast Equipment. During this part of the seminar the attendees will see and try this innovative and eco-friendly method of abrasive blasting in person. See for yourself what the future of sandblasting is now. Sign up today those that sign up first will be guaranteed a chance to try the equipment for themselves.

Website Launch

Date: 1/1/2013

Dustlesssandblasting.com has launched.

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