Dangerous silica dust can escape into the air when you drill, cut, or grind materials such as bricks, concrete, and engineered stone. Silica sand is so fine that it can be inhaled into the lungs, making it a hazard. If you work in construction, there are several things you can do to reduce the risk. For example, you can use tools that extract dust or water to suppress it. Here's an outline of these approaches.
Tools with Dust Extractors
One option is to use tools with dust extractors. For instance, you could use a drill with an extractor on a construction site to bore a hole into a concrete beam. The drill will have an umbrella-like fitting that shrouds it, capturing the dust before it floats into the surrounding air space. The silica dust collects in a bag as the air is sucked in while you drill. This method removes the dust from the air at the source in a targeted way. You can also use similar systems for saws and grinders. Other factors, such as wearing a respirator, can also lessen the risk of silica dust. The workplace safety laws for your state will specify what is required in the workplace.
Tools Using Water to Suppress Dust
Another approach is to use tools with an integrated water delivery system to suppress silica dust. If you're cutting a piece of engineered stone, water will be delivered to the cutting blade, and you will be left with a slurry, which is safer as particles don't float into the air. However, it's essential to vacuum the slurry with a Class H or M vacuum cleaner, whichever is appropriate, before it dries and turns to dust. Independent water delivery systems are also available for large jobs, such as polishing a concrete slab. While these approaches can create extra work as you must deal with the slurry, they are safer.
Filters and Other Factors
It's essential to regularly check the filters in any equipment or tools you use which are part of a silica dust collection system, as they will be less effective if they become clogged with dust. You should wear a well-maintained respirator when emptying the dust bags and dispose of them according to your workplace guidelines. Other factors, such as well-ventilated spaces, are essential. If you operate an excavator or other earthmoving equipment on a hazardous site, you will be safer in the confines of a filtered cabin, which will lessen the exposure risk.
For more information, contact a company like Austedan Fabrication.Share
3 August 2023
Industrial manufacturing processes are as diverse as they are necessary for our modern life. Large-scale industrial equipment has transformed the creation of all kinds of products, including vehicles, computers and many other items that we use in our daily lives. This blog seeks to explore the industrial manufacturing processes that are used in commercial facilities across Australia. By reading about new manufacturing techniques, you can increase your facility’s efficiency and learn how to create high-quality materials using modern techniques. If you ever need more information, we make sure to link to valuable local resources. We hope you find what you’re looking for.