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General Construction (2004) -- Success with Silica

State: Illinois
Company: P. J. Hoerr, Inc.
Industry: General Building Contractor – Non-Residential
(SIC Code 1611/NAICS Code 11061)
Employees: 150
Success Brief: By extending the reach of the water spray hose used to limit silica dust during concrete cutting, the Company helped ensure consistent use of the wet process by employees who otherwise might become frustrated with their restricted mobility.

The Problem:

A construction employee was cutting concrete block using a 12-inch Stihl saw with an attached water sprayer and 4-foot hose. Because the hose was so short, it restricted the employee's ability to move around while using the saw. The employee became frustrated over his lack of mobility and disconnected the sprayer, exposing himself and other employees nearby to silica dust.

The Solution:

The Company's Safety Director purchased additional water hose and fittings from a local hardware store to extend the reach of the saw and sprayer to approximately 10 feet. Even though the materials cost just $5.00, the extended hose effectively improved employee mobility during the concrete cutting process.

The Impact:

The enhanced mobility provided by the longer water spray hose led to greater employee acceptance of its required use with the concrete saw. This, in turn, eliminated a cause for disciplinary action and improved employee morale and productivity. Most importantly, the more consistent use of the wet process has reduced the employees' exposure to hazardous silica dust.

The Source:

Mr. Steve Williams, Safety Coordinator, P.J. Hoerr, Inc. (July 2004).

Longer water hose enhanced employee's mobility.

Longer water hose enhanced employee's mobility.

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