Silica Case study
How an aggregate facility was able to accelerate their silica remediation plans through real time data

About the facility
APT worked with one of the oldest industrial minerals products facilities in the US with a history dating back 90 years. This facility is a leading supplier of colored and specialty roofing granules for the asphalt and shingle industry.

The process of mining, crushing, and processing of minerals can generate large amounts of dust, resulting in potential exposure risks. Over exposure to dust can cause lung disease, making occupational health and safety a top priority. A significant amount of time, money and effort is spent towards preventing dust and silica exposures. Conventional gravimetric dust and silica sampling methods (NIOSH 7500) often take weeks for results while only returning one data point over an 8 - 10 hour work shift. Since occupational exposures are much more complex and can vary significantly , conventional sampling does not provide enough insight. 

Looking for a scalable and effective monitoring solution, the facility's management team turned to APT’s wireless sensor networks to help gather power real-time insights. APT’s monitoring platform workflows allows for efficient and effective intervention for reducing risk and liability

After deploying APT’s wireless monitoring platform, the safety team was able to significantly improve operations in various parts of the plant in the following ways. Improved performance of engineering controls, proper PPE management, reduction in time spent on root cause analysis, and reductions in risk and liability. 

APT was able to help identify that time frame in some areas with loading 80% of exposures occurred in a 2-hour and unloading. These high-risk exposure windows were identified using APT’s real time monitoring solution through automated Time weighted average analysis. Conventional gravimetric sampling only gives an average exposure throughout a work shift.  The dust concentration can vary significantly by the timing and the shift. Thus real time data was able to provide added insight into when exposure may occur.

Conventional gravimetric methods require significant time and effort where it can take weeks for a single data point. This misses out on all the other days of exposure risks throughout a worker’s time at the facility. APT can help dramatically improve  this process through real time monitoring. Through APT’s monitoring platform, facilities can fix risks in days instead of weeks. 

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