Simpson Strong-Tie and Hilti require that drilled-out holes in concrete for adhesive bolts and tie-down bolts be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This involves using compressed air.

This process creates and exposes the public to carcinogenic silica dust. OSHA has requirements for its safe handling. “Safe Handling” means not using compressed air. Anyone in the vicinity of holes being blown out with compressed air will be exposed to this debilitating carcinogen.  

Contractors have two options: They can either use dust masks to protect themselves and have them fit-tested once a year as required by OSHA or use hollow drill bits which extract the dust from the hole while it is being drilled. The former option still has the potential of exposing the public to silica dust and it is very unlikely the masks will be fit-tested once a year as required by OSHA.  The latter option is 100% safe for everyone concerned.  Hollow core drill bits cost $380 each and the HEPA vacuums close to $1000 so it is unlikely this will be used, and it is far less likely that contractors will have OSHA testing.

This is not explained to contractors anywhere in P-1100/ICC 1300 and has the potential to make someone seriously ill.  The standard should probably have a chapter on safety to protect contractors and the public about this fact. 

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