Are you planning to saw concrete for a home improvement project? Are you worried about the dust generated when sawing concrete? If so, you need to keep reading below.
Concrete cutting is one of the dustiest jobs in the construction industry. Regular exposure to concrete dust can pose a serious health risk to construction workers.
Whether you plan to saw concrete for a one-off home improvement project or you are involved in regular concrete sawing projects, you need to know about effective concrete dust control methods.
This will help to reduce the negative impact concrete dust can have on your health and well-being. Let’s take a further look into the following ways to minimise exposure to concrete dust:
- Wet Cutting
- HEPA Vacuum And Exhaust Ventilation Systems
- Disposable Dust Respirators
- Employee Training
Silica dust is a common hazard when cutting concrete. Concrete dust is detrimental to your overall health and well-being in the long run.
There are several methods to protect construction workers from the dangers of airborne silica dust. Better work practices and control methods are used in combination to reduce dust accumulation in concrete cutting.
Wet cutting is one such method used. Wet cutting is an engineering control technique used to prevent silica dust from being airborne when cutting or grinding concrete.
It is one of the most effective methods of concrete dust control. The concrete saw is fitted with a wet-cutting port or a portable water tank could be supplied. This essentially wets the dust and prevents it from floating around the worksite.
HEPA Vacuum And Exhaust Ventilation Systems
When concrete dust cannot be eliminated at its source, HEPA vacuums and exhaust ventilation systems are extremely helpful to control concrete dust. This system will suck up the concrete dust as it forms.
Vacuum systems are more effective when they are equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. This will help prevent concrete dust from becoming airborne and causing health hazards.
Disposable Dust Respirators
Disposable dust respirators is a piece of personal protective gear worn by concrete cutters and construction workers.
This protective gear helps prevent concrete dust from getting into the respiratory system of the construction workers or concrete cutters. Dust respirators come in two types such as half-face and full-face dust respirators.
Half-face dust respirators are recommended for concrete cutting jobs with dust exposures up to 10 times the permissible exposure limit (PEL). These respirators should consist of dust cartridges that are cleared regularly.
These respirators are mostly used in open spaces. However, they can also be used for certain projects in fully enclosed spaces.
Full-face dust respirators are ideal for concrete cutting jobs with dust exposures up to 50 times the permissible exposure limit (PEL). These respirators are mostly used in enclosed and confined spaces.
Dust can accumulate in large quantities and quickly in such spaces.
Construction employees should receive extensive training on the dangers and health hazards of being regularly exposed to concrete dust. The training sessions should cover control and prevention methods.
They should also educate the workers in proper respiratory protective equipment and cleaning techniques once the work is completed.
Employee training and awareness play an important role in reducing the risk of being exposed to silica dust. Your employees will learn about the health hazards of silica dust exposure and preventive techniques to reduce such risks.