Here are three steps to protect workers from the health issues that continual inhalation or ingestion of dust particles can present:
1. Water suppression
Use water pumped from the mains to dampen down work areas before, during and after tasks. This is an effective solution but with the obvious downside that sufficient water is required for the duration of the job.
2. Dust extraction units
Use vacuum extraction / filtration systems to capture airborne dust at the source e.g. on-tool dust extractors on cut-off saws, routers and chasers. This method ensures most dust created as a result of the task is immediately captured before it can disperse into the air.
3. Respiratory protective equipment
Regardless of the additional protection being used, all workers should also ensure they have personal respiratory protective equipment to help filter out any finer particles of airborne dust, not already captured.
Construction dust is the most significant risk to workers health after asbestos. Silica dust alone is thought to accelerate the deaths of around 500 construction workers yearly – far greater than those killed by accidents.