OSHA Silica Dust Regulation and What It Means For Jackhammers

Silica Dust Regulations

Kevin Olmstead | October 20th, 2017

OSHA announced a new regulation for controlling silica dust that recently went into effect for the construction industry. Silica, which is a mineral found in stone, sand, and soil can cause serious health issues when inhaled.

So where might you encounter silica dust on the job site? Silica dust is released while using a jackhammer, saw, or other tools to cut, chip, or break stone, brick, or concrete. Workers who inhale these silica particles are at increased risk of lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and Silicosis.

When Is OSHA’s Silica Dust Regulation Effective?

The regulation is already in effect, as of June 23, 2016. It requires the construction industry to comply by September 23, 2017, with general industry/maritime and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) industries to comply by June of 2018, and June of 2021 respectively.

OSHA Silica Dust Recommendations for Jackhammer Use

OSHA recommends using wet methods to aid in controlling dust exposure. In the past, a helper would use a garden hose with a nozzle attached and manually spray the work area while another construction worker operated the jackhammer. This method, while effective, is expensive, cumbersome, and inefficient.

What you really need is a retrofit kit for each jackhammer in your crew. There are two common methods for obtaining a retrofit kit, but only one of them protects you for the long haul.

OSHA: Controlling Silica Dust

Build-Your-Own Retrofit Kit

Another option is to build your own retrofit kit. There are plans available online that detail how to build a retrofit kit to attach directly to a jackhammer. But these kits are made from consumer-grade materials and do not hold up well to heavy and repeated use on an industrial construction site. They will wear down quickly, becoming ineffective at their sole job - protecting you and your crew from silica dust exposure.

Industrial-Grade Retrofit Kit from Hose Experts

Parker Twinhammer retrofit kit for jackhammers | Cross Company

By far the safest and most effective option is to use an industrial-grade retrofit kit made specifically for this task. Parker developed the 7084 Twinhammer series air/water jackhammer hose assemblies specifically for this new OSHA standard. The Twinhammer series features a twin hose that combines a ¾” air compressor hose along with a ⅜” water hose that is chemically bonded together, giving you a pre-packaged assembly to attach directly to your jackhammer. The kit includes one Twinhammer hose assembly, adapters, spray nozzle, ¼ turn ball valve, and even the velcro straps that attach the assembly to the jackhammer.

You can obtain the Parker Twinhammer retrofit kit from your local Parker Hose & Fittings store. Your trusted hose expert will make sure you leave with the highest quality product available on the market and get you back to work!

Find a Cross Hose & Fittings Store

Read more from OSHA on the dangers posed by silica dust to your health and the health of your crew.

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Kevin Olmstead


Kevin is a hose specialist for Cross Hose & Fittings in the greater Raleigh area. He is responsible for assisting you with all of your hose & fittings needs. Kevin joined the Cross team with a strong hose background, beginning with a job in a hose shop during high school at the age of 15. He started as a hydraulic and pneumatic technician and, prior to being with Cross, was the Sales and Purchasing Manager for Raleigh Durham Rubber & Gasket. Kevin attended East Carolina University and studied Business, as well as Recreation and Leisure Services. He enjoys snowboarding, camping, hiking, and both street and dirt motorcycles.