The construction industry entails the drilling, grinding, sanding, blasting, sawing, and crushing of materials such as soil and concrete. These activities and materials can generate a lot of dust and harmful particles posing a major health hazard. Dust can lead to respiratory illnesses such as silicosis and lung cancer risking the lives of your employees and those living nearby. There is also the danger of fire hazards caused by dust buildup on machines. This is why there’s a need to manage such risks. In this post, we will explore reasons why it is important to manage the risks and the tools that will help you with dust suppression.
To comply with set regulations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and guidelines are set to protect the health and safety of construction site employees, the nearby community, and the environment. These regulations include a limit on the amount of dust your construction site can emit while the guidelines provide measures on how to control the emissions through specialized dust suppression systems. OSHA standards mostly emphasize employee exposure to crystalline silica dust. This is because silica dust particles get trapped in lung tissue, reducing the lung’s ability to take in oxygen. This leads to silicosis and permanent lung damage. These standards are hence set to limit employee exposure to silica materials. Complying with these and other regulations can help reduce the impact of dust emissions.
To Protect Property and Equipment
Dust when not controlled can greatly damage equipment and reduce its functionality over time. This means that your equipment will constantly fail, resulting in backload. The damage caused also poses a risk to workers who operate the machines as they can be injured in the process. Dust build-up can also lead to dust expulsions, which can be fatal and lead to the destruction of property. Managing the risk of dust hazards helps to maintain your equipment, and protect your workers and your property.
To avoid financial losses
First off, failing to comply with the set regulation on dust control can lead to hefty fines and penalties. in addition, your entire construction project can be terminated. Secondly, failing to control and manage dust puts the workers in danger, and in case of any injury or dust-related illness, you would be held liable. Thirdly, dust can reduce employees’ and machine productivity leading to downtimes and prolonged timelines which inquire more costs.
Use Of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPEs are tools designed for construction site workers to manage dust hazards and protect them from dust exposure. These tools comprise safety glasses that protect the eyes from flying debris and dust. Respirators are worn over the nose and mouth to prevent dust from getting into the lungs. PPE is used alongside other dust control measures and should not be used as the main measure. This is because PPEs alone cannot protect your employees from hazards. They can be used in conjunction with ventilators, dust collectors, and air filtration systems. Before you acquire PPE, ensure your workers are trained on how to properly wear, use, and store the tools.
Managing the risk of dust hazards is important in protecting the health of the workers. It is also important in achieving compliance with set rules, protecting property and equipment, and preventing financial losses. Effective control can be done through the use of different tools such as ventilators, dust collectors, and PPEs.