OSHA states that using readily available tools can eliminate the need to use respirators, and reduce or eliminate other requirements. See Table 1 for more details.
To help you work with the silica dust standard when cutting fiber cement siding, including
Table 1, James Hardie recommends using a circular saw equipped with a HardieBlade® and attached vacuum dust collection system. Shears (manual, pneumatic or electric) or the score and snap method for HardieBacker® products may also be used.
There are many cost-effective options for tools that meet Table 1 requirements for fiber cement. Even if you do invest in higher-end tools, the total cost per job is low. Using a cost per square foot metric, it’s less than a penny per square foot – ¢0.54 on the high end and ¢0.06 on the low end. Plus, you could potentially cut costs by using a vacuum to extend the life of your tools and reduce cleanup and housekeeping time.
We’ve put together a list of some of the saws, vacuums/dust collectors and accessories currently available for your consideration.
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Setting up your cutting station correctly is just as important as selecting the right tools. James Hardie has collaborated with a number of installers to identify easy setups that are effective, affordable and meet OSHA’s compliance standards. Should you have any questions, we’re prepared to assist crews on-site.