Dust extraction specialists, Dustcontrol UK, have unveiled a new training programme to help combat the serious issue of Silica within the work place.
Dustcontrol UK will help contractors reduce their exposure to dust and fight Silica by training their clients on best working practices and making sure they are using the most appropriate dust extraction tools.
Phil Haskins, Dustcontrol UK’s construction industry specialist, explains: “HSE research has shown that there are over 500 silica related deaths per a year in the UK. It’s the largest cause of occupational lung cancer after asbestos and construction workers have a 2-3 times greater risk of contracting COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).”
He continues: “It’s a very serious issue. And these figures highlight the importance for contractors to capture dust at source and prevent dusts getting airborne before it’s too late. The HSE are doing a fantastic job in raising awareness of the problem, but we’re here to promote best practice and make sure workers are adopting the best approach. Common jobs like cutting or grinding concrete, chasing out mortar, drilling in enclosed spaces or sanding wood/MDF can be high risk if not properly controlled.”
Indeed, according to further HSE research, in 2010/2011 over about 2.3 million working days were lost (1.1 days per worker) due to self-reported work-related illness or workplace injury. Just over three quarters of this was due to health problems, and only one quarter to injuries.
Phil Haskins comments: “All of our products that we sell or hire out are fitted with H13 HEPA filters. Because we use these filters this guarantees that the products remove 99.97% of all particles greater than 0.3 mircometres from the air that passes through. Meaning the air exhausted from the products is the cleanest it can be. When it comes to your life, why compromise?”
FFP3 dust masks will also become a minimum standard, plus proper face fit tests will be required. Dustcontrol UK’s new training programme will also include onsite talks, which will help contractors meet the new regulations, improve site conditions and efficiency, and ensure any potential fines are avoided.