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How can you work safely with dangerous substances in construction?

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11 August 2022

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Do you recognise the following? You have landed a nice (renovation) job, but once you start it, of course you have to demolish everything before you can start renovating.

This chopping and breaking still releases a lot of dangerous substances (fine dust), which have a very detrimental effect on your health or that of your employees. Besides the threat to health, dust in the home also causes irritation to the client. This is, of course, something you would prefer to avoid.
From the government side, much attention is given to the problem of hazardous substances during various work activities and the resulting health problems. Checks can therefore be carried out to see how these hazardous substances are being handled. What is important here, of course, is how you protect yourself and others from these substances. If you do not handle this properly, you may even be fined for it!
But first, just to clarify…

What do we mean by dangerous substances?

Dangerous substances are often substances we cannot even see or smell, or which we might not expect to be so harmful. These are substances such as quartz dust and isocyanates on construction sites and welding fumes in metal companies. These can be released during the daily work of a contractor, carpenter or welder, for example.

Numbers of deaths

Working with hazardous substances can unfortunately lead to serious illnesses such as asthma, COPD and lung cancer. It is estimated that 4100 people die every year from occupational diseases, of which almost 3000 are due to the cause of working with these dangerous substances. This actually means that 1 in 6 workers is at risk of becoming ill.
Figures from TNO, CBS and RIVM show that it can take years for the disease symptoms to appear. Of all deaths caused by working with dangerous substances, 80 per cent are pensioners and 20 per cent are workers. So a long time (years or even decades) may pass before you notice the effects.

How can you work safely with these dangerous substances?

In order to limit the risk of occupational disease to a minimum, it is important that hazardous materials are handled properly.
By changing the way we work, we can reduce dust production, for example by using source extraction (dust extraction on the machine). However, practice shows that this is not sufficient in all cases. Take, for example, the chopping away of tiles, wall sections or the demolition of a ceiling – this generates a lot of dust that is not easily ‘captured’ by a hoover.

What can Dryfast do for you?

Dryfast has a long history of supplying dust control equipment designed to remove ‘background’ dust. This is dust that accumulates in the room and in normal situations, when no negative pressure is created, always moves to adjacent rooms.
The solution to stop dust from moving is to pressurise the working area. This way has the following advantages:
  • By applying the underpressure principle correctly, you will be able to work much cleaner in the ‘polluted’ space. PPE is therefore much more effective and the amount of harmful substances you ingest is much lower, which of course is a great benefit to your own health and that of others.
  • Due to the large quantity of air extracted and filtered from the room, clean air will be sucked into the room again. This generates a nice and cooling effect in hot weather!
  • The vacuum ensures that dust in the room cannot spread to adjacent rooms. This prevents a lot of cleaning work and annoyance on the part of the client.
  • The constant removal of contaminated air allows you to remain in the room longer, so that the work can continue, thus saving valuable time.
  • All this always results in a bit of positive word-of-mouth advertising for your company.
Please note that it is not only PPE or Dryfast equipment that provides protection from hazardous substances, it is the combination that is so important!

Training

The big question is ”how am I going to cope with the dust problem in this way?” We would like to help you with this and provide training in the field of dust control, among other things. During these training sessions, we go deeper into what exactly quartz dust does to your health and how you can effectively deal with it.

Dryfast products for dust control

To address this dust control issue, Dryfast offers a wide range of products, each with its own application. For example, for the renovation market, where rooms do not exceed approx. 120 m┬│, we have the widely used and practically proven dust set DAF2500LSAU/10. It uses a high-pressure fan in combination with an air transport hose and an F7 dust filter bag.
Besides various solutions with (high) pressure fans of different capacities, there are also various solutions with units, where the fan with various filters are united in one machine, these are the machines from our TAC series. The big advantage of this TAC series of extraction units is the flexibility and usability; the filter combination can be put together per order. Think of the use in building-related applications where filtering at F7 is often sufficient or in hospitals or clean rooms where the filter class HEPA can be a requirement.

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