Living Goal Zero: Reducing Health Hazards at IA Construction

IA Construction reduces Silica Dust by installing a downdraft table in their labs. See it in action here!

What is a Downdraft Table?

A downdraft table is a built-in ventilation system that is designed to filter out fumes, smoke, and dust. The air that is filtered into the ventilation system is then pushed back into the environment where it eliminates energy loss and the need for in-house exhaust systems.

Downdraft tables are used to solve the problem of dust control by cleaning the air and giving employees a healthier and safer work environment.

What are the benefits?

This ventilation system can increase employee’s health as it limits exposure to the harmful dust particles and offers the employee cleaner and purer air to breathe in.

In the summer of 2018, Liberty Mutual tested the IA Construction Clarion asphalt plant crew and lab technician for the “Silica” 8-hour shift. The Liberty Mutual’s test results came back indicating high exposure for the lab technician. To help reduce the silica exposure to the lab technician, IAC’s Kevin Casper, Quality Control Manager, and his team came up with a great idea to purchase a downdraft table (shown above) and install it in the Clarion plant lab. After the downdraft table was installed, Liberty Mutual came back to retest. The results indicated a significant decrease in silica exposure to the technician. This table has shown that it can prevent dust from becoming airborne and breathed in by technicians and has proven to be beneficial in reducing Silica exposure to our laboratory personnel. The table costs only $795.00 and is more than adequate for sieve analysis and ignition oven basket cleaning. The downdraft table was purchased from the Grizzly website. SEE IT HERE

The unit features two levels of filtration with both a filter and a pre-filter that reduces dust. Filters are readily accessible and easily replaced and are rated down to .3 microns. Although this unit, when purchased from Grizzly, is a stand-alone unit and the filters catch most of the dust, Kevin Casper plans to vent the table outside for even better results.

This downdraft table has proven to provide a safer laboratory environment and helps keep clean-up time to a minimal. It is currently being used at the IA Construction Franklin and Clarion labs. Kevin plans are to install this downdraft table at all the other IA Construction labs in 2019.

This great find by Kevin and his team is a step in the right direction towards ensuring the health and safety of our lab technicians.

Great Job to Kevin and his team! Thank you for making our labs a safer place to work!