Construction Dust – Controlling The Health Risks

One significant challenge of working on a construction site is the dust produced. There are different types of dust in construction sites, including sand, sheetrock, metal, concrete, wood, and plastics. Therefore, dust control is a crucial element for these sites.

Dust causes different health problems for workers. That’s why companies like BossTek are dedicated to producing affordable dust control solutions. To control the level of dust in construction sites, the COSHH regulations require the site manager to sample the dust regularly. Sampling is carried out by personal samplers and qualified occupational hygienists who can identify the problem and reduce the exposure. Here are the steps followed to ensure you control dust at a construction site:

Reduce the risk

Before starting construction, ensure that you find ways to reduce the amount of dust created. Some ways you can do this is by using less powerful tools on the site and if If possible, use Silica free abrasives. Also, consider using the correct size of building materials that require less cutting.

Control the dust produced

After reducing the amount of dust produced, you can use different dust suppression methods to ensure minimal dust is released from the construction site. For instance, you can enclose the construction area to ensure that the dust does not escape. Also, use water to dampen the dust clouds while limiting the number of people who access the work area and rotating the worker regularly. Additionally, consider using general mechanical ventilation to remove the dust being produced from the air. And employ a local ventilation system that can be fitted directly to the tool

Use respiratory protective equipment (RPE)

RPE should always be provided as an addition to dust removal and not as a substitute. This protective equipment should always be the last line of protection. Before use, you must ensure that the equipment meets all the following guidelines. They should fit all the workers correctly. A face fit is ideal to ensure that the RPE equipment offers the proper protection. Also, tight-fitting masks users must always be clean-shaven. Also, ensure it’s the right fit for the type of work environment. Some masks can be very uncomfortable when worn over long periods. Again, ensure it is adequate for the amount and type of dust. All RPE equipment has an Assigned Protection Factor (APF), which shows the amount of protection the mask offers the users. Construction dust is set at APF 20, which means that the wearer generally breaths in 20 percent of the dust.

Educate your workers

Ensure that your employees are well educated about site dust controls measures as well. They should also know about all the health risks when exposed to dust. This will ensure that workers understand why they should always follow the guidelines. It is also essential to ensure that that know how to use the RPE and the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Dust control on a construction site is the job of both the employer and the workers. Employers should ensure that is as little dust in the air as possible, and the workers should learn how to use the protective equipment well.