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WVU Industrial Extension / WVMEP Reduces Worker Chemical Exposure


C.U.E. of West Virginia is a manufacturer and world leader of high-quality, custom molded urethane products. The facility is located Mount Hope, West Virginia, with 19 employees.

The Challenge

C.U.E. of WV was seeking outside assistance to quantify worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in the abrasive blasting area. Crystalline silica is a carcinogen found in sand, stone and artificial stone. It can cause silicosis, a chronic disease that involves scarring of the lungs. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) recent silica rule for general industry went into effect June 23, 2018. Even though the abrasive blasting area was utilized for only a short period each day, C.U.E of WV wanted to be certain that worker exposure to RCS was under the occupational exposure limit. In addition, C.U.E. of WV used the hierarchy of controls to further protect workers by substituting the blasting sand media for a blasting abrasive that contained less than 1% free crystalline silica.
C.U.E. of West Virginia is focused on offering a safe working environment for our employees.  WVMEP Program proved to be beneficial during this transition period.  Their professionalism, knowledge and support were key to enhance our Safety and Health Procedures.  C.U.E. of WV is very grateful for the WVMEP Program and would recommend their services to any business.
— Linette Radford, Accounting / Office Manager

MEP's Role

WVMEP, part of the MEP National Network™, evaluated worker exposure to RCS by conducting an air sampling campaign. The worker performed abrasive blasting during his normally scheduled shift while donning a supplied air respirator system. Results of the air sampling indicated that the company complied with the occupational exposure limits, validating the abrasive blasting media substitution and PPE controls. 
Created July 22, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021