Dust is always floating in the air around most of the environments that we carry out our daily activities, for some people, this is intensified when they are at work. There are different types of dust, some of which are more dangerous than others when you expose yourself to them. None of us enjoys being in areas where there is too much dust. The sad truth is that we’re exposed to this health hazard more times than we realise and for some people who work on construction sites or are trying their hand at some DIY it is something that is a lot harder to escape. It is, therefore, necessary that we take precautions to ensure we defend ourselves against this danger and harm as much as possible.
Types of dust
People who work at construction sites are some of the people at the highest risk as these places contain some of most the dangerous types of dust. They risk exposing themselves to three main types of dust. These include wood dust, silica dust and lower toxicity dust. Silica dust is produced by materials that contain silica. Examples of these materials are sandstone, concrete, and mortar. Wood dust result from wood-based products, softwood and hardwood. Lower toxicity dust result from materials that contain negligible or completely no silica such as marble, gypsum, dolomite, and limestone.
Problems caused by the inhalation of dust
When inhaled, dust can cause lung diseases. Apart from silicosis which can develop quite fast, most other lung diseases may take years in order to develop. By the time there’s evidence of any lung disease, it may have caused serious harm to the lungs and the overall health of the body. As a result, an individual may be hit by an early death or a permanent disability.
So, what can you do to minimize the risks of exposure to dust?
You can take the following steps to defend yourself from effects of dust at the workplace:
1. Stop or reduce the amount of dust that you create
At the workplace, it is wise to take precautions to guard yourself against inhaling the dangerous dust by stopping or reduce the creation of dust. Ensure the measures are in place before you begin working.
2. Do not dry sweep
When you sweep a place when it is dry, the chances of inhaling dust are increased. You should, therefore, avoid this at all costs. If possible try to wet the place before you begin to sweep.
3. Ensure your work tools and equipment in good working state
When not in good working conditions, working tools and equipment may emit dangerous dust. If any of them requires repair, you can go for tool hire and fix it if it’s a minor hitch.
4. Make use of on-tool extraction equipment
This is preferable as it can remove dust from the source, thereby, keeping you protected before you manage to breathe in the dust.
5. Use safer materials
If you are an employer, you have the alternative to using materials that are safer for the employees in place of materials such as those that contain silica. This reduces the amount of danger your employees are exposed to dangerous dust that causes silicosis.
6. Use PPEs.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) can be quite helpful in fighting dust exposure. Equipment such as masks can help prevent the entry of dangerous substances into your respiratory system.
7. Minimize cutting
When you are constantly using different types of building materials, you risk breathing more dust than when you are not. It is therefore recommended that you use the right size of building materials in order to minimize cutting of the same.
These are the top ways to defend against the dust. If the tools that you use in the workplace are faulty and therefore produce excess dust, it’s advisable to go for tool hire until your own is repaired and is in a good working condition. Preventing the inhalation of the dust is no doubt better than treatment. Here at Hire It we pride ourselves on having some fantastic tools in perfect working order to help you with your project.