With an average of over one million pounds of silica sand used in horizontal well completions, crystalline silica is a major component of hydraulic fracturing. Multiple proppant transfer points can generate high concentrations of airborne dust, from offloading trucks to being pumped down hole. Engineering controls can be used to mitigate personal exposure.
In June 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, reduced the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) by half and created an Action Level (AL) for respirable crystalline silica (RCS) that will require engineering controls to help mitigate employee exposure. In June 2018, the new RCS PEL of 0.05 mg/m3 averaged over an 8-hour period will apply to hydraulic fracturing and most other industries, and engineering control obligations will commence in June 2021 for hydraulic fracturing operations. A study was conducted at multiple hydraulic fracturing sites to determine if RCS concentrations could be reduced below OSHA’s new PEL using engineering controls that do not have an onsite footprint, namely chemically pre-treated sand. The results, to be presented in this presentation, showed significant reductions in RCS in both personal and area sampling.
Registration for this event closes at 6:00 PM CST on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.