Dust – the hidden killer
Why is dust a problem?
In the construction industry dust is generated from many different activities including common tasks such as cutting, drilling, chiselling and grinding. The first problem is that as the amount of dust in the atmosphere builds up, the visibility when working is limited, increasing the risk for operators using equipment.
The second and most important issue, is that dust which is produced from a range of different materials, including concrete, mortar and stone, all contain hazardous substances known as Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS). RCS causes harmful and life-threatening diseases when entering the lungs, such as Silicosis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – both of which increase the risk of lung infections. It is estimated that over 500 construction workers die each year from the exposure to dust particles such as RCS and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ranks it as the largest risk to construction workers after asbestos.
You are at risk if the dust you inhale contains more Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) than a pinch of salt.
What is the legal requirement?
Employers are responsible for assessing, managing and controlling the exposure of their workers to construction dust, under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations Act 2002. Effective measures are needed to reduce the health risks, create a more comfortable working environment and increase productivity onsite. To help address the risks the following key points should be considered:
• Eliminating exposure
• Suitable and sufficient risk assessment
• Selection of dust extraction equipment
• Isolation dust transmission
• PPE & RPE
How can GAP help you?
At GAP, we offer a wide range of hire options to give you a safe, practical solution to dust whilst keeping your site productive. GAP works with our suppliers to offer products that allow customers to comply with legislation, increase their productivity while offering the very best tool for the job.
Popular products including our dust extraction / filtration units, drilling and breaking dust removal systems and dust containment and acoustic enclosures which can all be found in our online catalogue here.
GAP is now also able to supply a fully harmonised system, meaning products such as extraction hoods and dust extractors have been specifically designed to reduce risk and provide the ultimate solution.
For further information please contact your nearest GAP Plant & Tools depot or call us on 0333 202 1363.