A little dust here and there might not seem like that big of a deal; frequently operators work longer than they should without adequate air filtration or safety masks. From drilling, sawing, grinding, sanding, chiseling, cabling and even sweeping, however, the activities inside construction sites produce an extremely dangerous amount of hazardous dust.
In fact, in a recent survey conducted by the CMAA or the Construction Management Association of America, they pointed out that one of the top challenges facing businesses in the construction industry is the hazard posed by dust, especially during debris recycling and demolition.
The data shows that not only can on-site dust cause allergies; it can also cause serious damage to a worker’s health. And as most of us know, some dust dangers can eventually kill individuals.
How Dust Affects Us
When an individual breathes, loose particles in the air enter the nose. Because the nose is an excellent air filter, not all of those particles reach the lungs. Most of the bigger particles are trapped in it, until they are removed. However, some of the smaller dangerous dust particles can pass through and reach the lungs.
In an enclosed construction setting, most building materials contain small particles of Silica dust, which can lead to a range of long-latency diseases, including asthma, scoliosis, and even lung disease, when inhaled.
Should You Be Worried?
In the past, businesses view industrial dust as more of a nuisance and an inconvenience, rather than a health risk. More than a century ago, however, an industrial hygienist named Marion Trice detailed the hazards posed by stone and concrete dust in construction. Trice was not the first to recognize the problem, too, as far back as the 1700s, Bernard Ramazzini, an Italian physician, spoke of dust dangers as being “gradually fatal to stonecutters.”
Despite these proofs, many employers and operators still don’t see dust hazards in construction as a risk, and view it as more of an unavoidable hazard in construction sites—something that’s “just part of the job.”
We at DualDraw say it’s time for a change. Don’t allow your operators to perform dust producing applications without proper air filtration equipment, such as downdraft tables for cutting. When the process doesn’t lend itself to source capture, enforce rules on wearing facemasks. Never overlook the importance of dust collection and fume extraction equipment – it could be a fatal mistake.
Call today to see how our dust collection equipment and downdraft booths can help you with dust hazards in construction.