EHS Exhibitor Morris Site Machinery talks about hazardous construction dust
Construction dust is a silent killer – warns Morris Site Machinery’s Sales Director Richard Denholm. Here he gives the Executive Hire Show’s visitors and exhibitors top ten tips which might possibly save lives…
With the news that construction dust claims 500 lives a year on construction sites, more action needs to be taken to increase awareness and improve safety in the workplace as well as on site.
With Silica being second only to asbestos in the deadly toll on our construction workers, inhaling such high levels of this dust can cause serious damage to the lungs, with life changing or even fatal results.
Therefore, it is imperative that the right health and safety precautions are put in place with employers having a legal obligation to ensure all practical steps are taken to reduce or even eliminate the chance of Silica infecting workers on site.
We believe that good practice is at the heart of reducing risk and improving safety. This can start with simply training our workers through to encouraging them to take practical steps such as wearing protective clothing and face masks for those working with rock, soil and concrete.
But it is not only site workers who are at risk, as dust can settle on clothes and cars and can easily be transferred back home to friends and family.
Although it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure adequate measures are in place to reduce the risk by conducting risk assessments, everyone working on-site needs to be aware of the dangers.
So, whether you are a brick cutter, a highway repairman, a mason or a builder, make sure you are vigilant as construction dust clouds are everywhere.
Here are Richard’s top ten tips for minimising the risk of Silica in the workplace:
1)Make sure you wear protective clothing suitable for the task at all times including gloves
2) Ensure a face mask is worn to protect the face, mouth and respiratory system. I advise Safety goggles or safety glasses with added side shields
3) Wet down any dust before it becomes airborne with a water hose. A Makinex Hose 2 Go will provide a constant flow of water which allows dust suppression when cutting, core drilling and grinding concrete.
4) Use on-tool extraction: a ventilation system that fits onto the tool and removes dust as it is produced
5) Use protective screenings to ensure that dust extracted does not spread beyond the working area
6) Regularly maintain equipment, making sure the tools used are not damaged and replace those that are faulty or near the end of life
7) Provide on-site training for workers to ensure they know the risks and how to handle all equipment correctly
8) Consider breathing apparatus if required
9) Use the correct size of building materials that require less cutting
10) Rotate tasks within the team to ensure only a limited number of workers are exposed to the risk at any one time.
Morris Site Machinery will be at the Executive Hire Show 2018 at the Ricoh Arena Coventry 7th & 8th February 2018. Registration is now open – and it’s FREE!