Abrasive Blasting

Chapter 296-818, WAC

Effective Date: 09/01/06

Helpful Tools

WAC 296-818-200

General Safety

For printing


To protect employees from hazards associated with their work environment


Dust hazards

Personal protective equipment (PPE)



WAC 296-818-20005  

Dust Hazards


  • Abrasives and the surface coatings on materials blasted are shattered and pulverized during blasting operations. The dust formed will contain particles that could result in the following hazards:
    • - Respiratory
    • - Fire
    • - Explosion
  • Wet blasting methods minimize dust exposure, but dispersed droplets, mists, and dried residues may become airborne and create potential exposures.

You must

  • Evaluate the potential health hazards from abrasive blasting operations by considering the composition and toxicity of the abrasive material and the surface being abraded.


You must

  • Keep dust concentrations below the permissible exposure limits found in a separate chapter, Respiratory Hazards, Chapter 296-841 WAC.



  • When sampling for dust concentrations, place the sample collection device:
    • - In the breathing zone of the operator
    • - Outside the respiratory protection worn.

Helpful Tool

Helpful Tool:

Sampling for Airborne Contaminant Concentrations

Links you can use to find information on sampling airborne contaminant concentrations in the breathing zone can be found in the Resource section of this chapter.

Types of Abrasives used in Blasting Operations

For information on the types of abrasives used in blasting operations, see the Resource section of this chapter.

Types of Coatings Removed in Blasting Operations

For information on the types of coatings removed in abrasive blasting, see the Resource section of this chapter.

WAC 296-818-20010

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

You must

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Abrasive Blasting Respirators

Operators work in any of the following situations:

– Inside blast cleaning rooms

– Where silica sand is used in manual blasting operations

– Where concentrations of toxic dust exceed the permissible exposure limits found in a separate chapter:


An abrasive respirator doesn't need to be worn if the operator is physically separated from the nozzle and blast by an exhaust ventilated enclosure.


Abrasive-blasting respirator

A supplied air or a continuous flow respirator constructed to cover and protect the operator's head, neck and shoulders from rebounding abrasive.

Eye and Face protection to both of the following:

  • - Blasting operators
  • - Personnel working near blasting operations
Respirators worn during blasting operations don't provide eye and face protection

Gloves and Aprons made of heavy canvas or leather
Equivalent protection

Operators are exposed to the impact of rebounding abrasives



  • Use only respirators certified by NIOSH in 42 C.F.R. Part 84 for protecting employees from dusts, and other hazards produced during abrasive blasting operations, like:
    • - Using a garnet sand to blast a concrete surface, resulting in crystalline silica dust
  • A filtering face piece may be used only for short, intermittent, or occasional dust exposures for any of the following tasks:
    • - To protect the operator during abrasive blasting operations performed outside the enclosure or outdoors where nonsilica abrasives are used on materials with low toxicity
    • - Clean-up
    • - Dumping dust collectors
    • - Unloading shipments of sand at receiving areas when the following controls aren't feasible:
      • Enclosure
      • Exhaust ventilation
      • Other means



WAC 296-818-20015


You must

  • Keep aisles and walkways clear of steel shot or similar abrasives that may create a slipping hazard.
  • Prohibit the accumulation of dust on the floors or ledges outside blasting enclosures.
  • Clean up dust spills promptly.



Removal of accumulated dust should be done:

  • -With a high efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA), vacuum cleaner when the plant isn't in operation


  • - By a person wearing a respirator approved for the existing conditions


For additional housekeeping requirements, see the Safety and Health Core Rules, Chapter 296-800 WAC, Housekeeping,
WAC 296-800-220

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