By Ben Fox, President & CEO, Legacy Building Solutions
While the amount of frac sand exposure allowable under permissible exposure limits (PEL) for crystalline silica varies among operations, there’s no doubt that keeping frac sand loading under cover keeps silica dust contained. And with a properly designed frac sand storage and handling building, your operation will reap other benefits in addition to containment.
Weather protection. Proppant stored under cover is not vulnerable to damage by strong winds or heavy precipitation. Personnel are also protected from the elements – allowing them to comfortably work year-round and in any conditions. The natural light available in a fabric structure creates a pleasant work environment while still providing cover from the elements.
Simplified transloading. Frac sand storage buildings, as opposed to hoppers or bins, allow product to be easily loaded between railcars, trucks and other modes of transportation. A building with attached cranes, conveyors and drive-through paths allows sand to be loaded without the driver even exiting the vehicle.
Flexible storage options. By changing pile heights or moving concrete barriers, it’s possible to reconfigure a frac sand storage building to adjust with changing operational needs. The best buildings are even able to expand or relocate if needed.
Contain other operations. With the flexibility of a flat storage building, there’s also room to contain operations such as machinery maintenance or storage. It’s even possible to add a separated space for offices or other enclosed facilities as needed.
Customizable for your needs. Negative pressure to contain silica dust, heating and cooling systems and other building features will further enhance the usability of a bulk storage building for frac sand operations.
No matter where the EPA rulings on silica dust limits fall, keeping frac sand operations contained will make the fracking operation a better neighbor and a better place to work.
Editor’s Note: You can learn more and chat with Legacy Building Solutions representatives during the Roundtable Sessions at the 5th Annual Frac Sand Supply & Logistics Conference. Learn more here.