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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Top Tips for Preventing Silica Dust at Construction Sites

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You can prevent silica dust from forming on construction sites by wearing a respirator, taking frequent breaks, and using barriers to contain the area. You can also learn more about the laws that govern silica in the workplace. Below are the top tips for preventing silica dust at construction sites. Read on to find out more.

Wearing a respirator

If you work on a construction site, you may be exposed to crystalline silica dust. This dust contains tiny particles that workers can inhale in short-term tasks. However, if you’re working in a hazardous environment, it may be beneficial to wear a respirator to protect your respiratory system from harmful particles. 

Silica dust is a serious problem for construction and tunnel workers. A black lung specialist recently expressed concern that many at-risk Australian workers may not be tested for silicosis, a potentially fatal lung disease caused by breathing in crystalline silica. Other common occurrences of silicosis include kidney failure, autoimmune disorders, and lung cancer. It can also result in the development of several autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

The exposure levels associated with silica dust at construction sites depend on the materials used in construction, the type of work performed, and the work environment. Ideally, workplaces should be tested for silica dust every three to six months, using a personal sampling pump to measure dust concentration in the breathing zone.

Taking frequent breaks

Taking frequent breaks while working at construction sites will help you avoid exposure to the harmful effects of silica dust. You can also display signs reminding workers to take frequent breaks. If necessary, employers can make taking breaks mandatory. A construction site prone to silica dust should have the essential equipment to protect workers.

Proper ventilation is another important step in protecting workers from silica dust. Good ventilation keeps the air clean, reducing the risk of occupational disease caused by silica dust. Open windows and exhaust fans are two ways to get ventilation. Ensure exhaust fans are installed in workstations to keep the air clean and release it outside the construction site. When working on construction sites, ensure your workstations are equipped with filters and a dust-management system.

Use masks that contain HEPA filters. These types of protective gear reduce silica dust in the air. Remember to wash your hands often before eating or smoking and to change into clean clothing before leaving the worksite.

Workers should be given information about the hazards of crystalline silica dust and trained on how to prevent it from affecting them. It is important to ensure clean equipment and a healthy environment for workers. 

Using barriers

One way to minimize the amount of dust on a construction site is to use barriers. These barriers can be wood, hay, or even temporary walls. If they’re made of wood, place them at an angle that blocks the wind from picking up dust. Temporary barriers like walls are also effective, as are parked construction vehicles and temporary site offices. These barriers keep current from picking up airborne particles that cause silica dust.

Other barriers include clothing and protective equipment for workers. When possible, clean all clothing and protective gear frequently. If this isn’t feasible, use impediments. Workers’ clothes should also be thoroughly washed after exposure to silica dust. Then, use a wet vacuum to clean up the slurry. Using barriers at construction sites will reduce the amount of dust and keep workers healthy.

Aside from barriers that stop the airflow from spreading, these construction site barriers also help control the amount of respirable crystalline silica, the most common and dangerous type of construction dust. This harmful dust can lead to serious health problems, including respiratory diseases, and even delay projects. If these barriers are not used correctly, they may not do enough to reduce exposure to silica dust.

Keeping exposure to silica dust below the action level

Employers must establish written exposure control plans that specify how workers will minimize their silica exposure. As a result, employers must provide medical examinations to all workers exposed to silica dust. They must also train workers to reduce their exposure to silica dust and document the results. They must also keep all records of medical examinations and exposure data. 

Consequently, awareness and education are the keys to prevention. So, what are you doing to prevent silica exposure? Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know the answer to that question. You can consult with globalroadtechnology.com/silicosis-and-silica-dust/ about this!

 

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