3 Effective Ways to Reduce Employees' Exposure to Concrete Dust
Concrete cutting is a job that every concrete contractor may have to do at some point. When cutting through concrete structures, the safety of workers should be given utmost priority, as dangerous clouds of dust are usually produced at the work site.
Concrete dust contains silica, which is harmful when inhaled. Here are a couple of effective ways to help reduce the amount of dust that your employees may be exposed to during concrete cutting jobs:
This method primarily involves the use of water when cutting concrete material. Water helps reduce the concentration of inhalable concrete dust by trapping tiny dust particles that would otherwise end up circulating in the air. For that reason, you should provide your workers with equipment that come with the water option, whether it is a handheld saw that can be fitted with a hose pipe or a hydraulic saw that uses a high pressure water pump.
Another benefit of wet cutting is that you won't have to change the air filters on your equipment very often, as the water will also keep a considerable amount of the concrete dust produced from reaching the air intake.
Vacuum dust control
Vacuum dust control involves using equipment that extracts dust from the air when concrete is being cut. Dust shrouds are connected to a vacuum cleaner via hoses to remove fine particles of concrete dust from the work area. The hoses are then placed near the location of the concrete cutting equipment drill to capture the dust being produced. It is a wise move to opt for drills equipped with dust removal attachments, if available.
For continual efficiency, it is important to always inspect dust control equipment before use so that you can make sure they are in good working condition. Clean the vacuum and its attachments on a regular basis to ensure effective dust control and to extend the life of the devices as well.
Personal safety equipment
Even with the right concrete cutting methods and equipment, it is practically impossible to protect your employees from all the concrete dust produced from the working site. Providing personal safety equipment such as respirators, goggles and masks to protect your employees from the direct exposure to concrete dust can go a long way in keeping them safe and healthy. However, you will have to train employees on how to properly use the equipment, as well as how to make sure they are in good working condition. Personal safety equipment will work best when you have already taken effective steps to reduce the amount of concrete dust your employees are exposed to.