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Protect yourself from the dangers of dust

21 February 2023

THE MAJORITY of construction activities create airborne dust, especially when working with materials such as wood, stone, concrete, fillers, and plasterboards.

Today, the widespread use of portable power tools has resulted in an increase of health risks from dust in construction settings. The sad reality is many construction workers drilling or cutting into concrete and other building materials are equipped with little to no protection against the hazardous particles – many of which are not visible to the human eye.

Those exposed to dangerous levels of dust are at high risk of developing long-term health problems such as lung cancer and silicosis, a serious lung disease caused by the accumulation of silica dust in the lungs. Workers with the disease suffer scarring of the lungs that can obstruct breathing and cause shortness of breath. This in turn can lead to permanent heart and lung disease even after exposure to dust has stopped.

Furthermore, all trades in construction including demolition, civil engineers, joiners, and anyone on the work site can be affected, not just those doing the cutting and grinding.

The good news is that dust can be controlled by either water suppression or by on-tool extraction – where it is captured at source. All construction sites should be using industrial type M or H classified machines attached directly on to their workers’ power tools. 

Dustcontrol UK says it adopts a no compromise approach, with all of its machines being manufactured to application class H standard.

Its range of cyclone mobile vacuums, pre-separators and air cleaners, for example, are fitted as standard with a pre-filter and a H13 Hepa filter, being able to cover a wide range of applications including wall chasing, core drilling, floor grinding, concrete breaking, and general clean up. 

The H13 Hepa filters can separate up to 99.995% of the hazardous dust particulate out of the air before passing it through the motor and exhausting it back into the workplace. And the fact that only clean filtered air passes through the equipments’ motor dramatically extends its life span. In addition, filters do not have to be removed for on-site cleaning as all units feature a manual reverse pulse cleaning system. 

The company says its machines are designed with ease of use in mind, from dust free bag changing to manoeuvrability and maintenance. Even its larger 9.2kW three-phase machines can be handled by one person and have been designed to fit through most standard doorways.

It is also best practice to use an air cleaner, such as its AirCube range, as a compliment to source extraction to further reduce workers’ exposure to the smallest and most harmful dust particles. By doing so, businesses can create a healthier and cleaner working environment.

Dustcontrol UK has over 50 years’ experience in developing dust extraction solutions and centralised vacuum systems to fit client requirements in the construction, manufacturing, engineering, food processing, and demolition industries. They are experts in problem solving with a high technical capability of capturing dust at its source, then containing and transporting it to a convenient discharge solution.

For more information, visit www.dustcontrol.co.uk