On-Tool Dust Extraction Vacuum (‘M’ Class)

Current Health & Safety Legislation applicable where people are at work may require the person responsible for the work being carried out using this equipment to carry out a specific risk assessment.

It is important to read this entire page BEFORE using the Dust Extraction Vacuum Unit.

Before Using the Dust Extraction Vacuum

  1. This equipment must only be used by an operator who has been deemed competent by their employer.
  2. This equipment must only be used by a competent adult after having read and understood this safety guidance. Any person with either a temporary or permanent disability must seek expert advice before using the equipment. This equipment must not be used by minors or by any person under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  3. If you have not used an industrial vacuum for on-tool dust extraction before, you must familiarise yourself with the equipment, its controls, and safety features before you start work.
  4. The equipment is powered by 110V electrical power supply and must be connected to the correctly rated output socket of a transformer or generator depending on whether the unit requires a 16A or a 32A supply.  If any of the equipment fails or becomes damaged including the power supply cable or plug it must not be used and returned to Lord Hire Centres immediately. You must not attempt to repair the equipment yourself.
  5. Cables must be kept away from the work area, potential harm/damage and in such a manner as not to cause a risk to the operator or others.  Extension cables must be completely unwound and kept away from the work area.  Cables must never run through water, over sharp materials or where they present a trip hazard.  Always switch-off the machine before removing the plug from the power supply.  The plug must also be removed from the power source to undertake any cleaning or changing of vacuum bags or when the equipment is left unattended. The equipment supply cable must hang freely from both the machine and the plug and must not be tensioned. Before unplugging ensure both the vacuum and the power supply are switched-off. Always disconnect from the power supply socket by holding the plug firmly and not pulling the cable.
  6. This Vacuum is designed for on-tool dust extraction or dust collection.  It can be coupled with power tools and equipment by connecting to the dedicated dust extraction port.  The connection must be suitably secured using only correct appropriate manufacturers couplers and MUST NOT be attached by tapes or adapted using non-standard equipment as advised by the equipment manufacturers.


Dust Collection

 NOTE: The dust extraction vacuum unit is for collecting dry dust onlyThis Dust extraction unit must not be used for work involving asbestos.


Masonry Dust

  • Dust extraction Vacuums are generally supplied with dust collection bags. PVC Dust collection bags are commonly supplied for silica dust which is a natural substance found in varying amounts in most rocks, sand and clay. Sandstone, for example, contains more than 70% silica, whereas granite might contain 15-30%silica.  Silica is also a major constituent of construction materials such as bricks, tiles, concrete and mortar. Dust bags should be sealed and disposed of in accordance with the Safe Working Procedures identified in the Risk Assessment completed prior to work commencing.
  • The Dust Bags must not be reused. On-Tool Dust Extraction is a requirement when dust is generated from these materials during many common construction tasks. These include cutting, drilling, grinding and polishing. Some of this dust is fine enough to get deep into your lungs. The fine dust is known as respirable crystalline silica (RCS) and is too fine to see with normal lighting. It is commonly called silica or silica dust.

Wood Dust

On-Tool Dust Extraction is also a requirement to control Wood Dust when is dust is generated from the following activities which are likely to produce high dust exposures, some over long periods:

  • machining operations, particularly sawing, routing and turning
  • sanding, by machine and by hand
  • using compressed airlines to blow dust off furniture and other articles (to be avoided) before spraying
  • hand assembly of machined or sanded components
  • operations involving processing composite boards, e.g. medium-density fibreboard (MDF)
  • the bagging of dust from dust extraction systems
  • housekeeping, especially if sweeping up

Wood dust is a substance hazardous to health because it can cause serious non-reversible health problems including: skin disorders, obstruction in the nose, rhinitis, asthma, types of nasal cancer.

Types of Wood Dust

In addition to the tiny particles of wood produced during processing, wood dust can also contain bacteria and fungal and moss spores. The quantity and type of wood dust will depend on the wood being cut and the machine you are using, for example; whether the timber is green or seasoned, whether it is a hardwood, softwood or composite board, and how aggressive the machine cutter or blade profile is. The biggest risk is from fine dust, as you can breathe this deep into your lungs where it will do the most damage. Fine dust will also spread further from the cutting process, so it is important to clean ledges and other workroom surfaces regularly to prevent dust accumulating.


Safety Risks

  1. Wood dust is flammable and, in certain situations, can cause a fire or explosion.   Every year, premises are severely damaged or destroyed by wood dust fires that usually start in dust extraction equipment.  A suitable and sufficient Risk Assessment should be completed by your employer before commencing work of the nature.  You must have received information, instruction, and training appropriate to both the equipment being used and the nature of the work being undertaken prior to commencing work.   Wood dust explosions in buildings are rare, except in the chipboard industry, however suitable safe working practices concluded from suitable and sufficient risk assessments must be adopted.  It also makes sense to control wood dust from a business point of view as you will need less time for clearing up, and there will be fewer slips and trips hazards resulting from any settled dust.
  2. Paper or Fleece type dust bags are alternatives when used with on-tool extraction for types of wood dust or for dust collection from floor surfaces utilising tubing coupled with a dedicated vacuum floor brush.  Dust bags should be sealed and disposed of in accordance with the Safe Working Procedures identified in the Risk Assessment completed prior to work commencing.  The Dust Bags must not be reused.


Vacuum Classification

  1. Dust Class ‘M’ is a Medium hazardous rating, which determines the construction and performance of the dust extraction unit.  European Standard (EN60335-2-69:2009 3) relating to the filter specification and performance of Vacuum Cleaners requires ‘M’ Class dust extraction vacuum units to be able to remove dustfrom the work area efficiently so that there is no pollution greater than 0.1milligrams per cubic metre of air. These units provide effective and reliable extraction capability and are fitted with low-flow indicators.  You must not remove the filter fitted within the vacuum unit at any time.
  2. The units are marked with a special label as in the example pictured below:
M Class Dust Extraction
A minimum of a class ‘M’ unit is required as part of on-tool extraction systems for silica and wood dust on construction sites.


Electrical Safety

  1. A user check of the equipment must be carried out before using the equipment inspection for and defects or damage to the equipment casings, wheels, controls, hoses, and the equipment power cable and plug.  Any defects or damage must be reported to Lord Hire Centres and the equipment must also be removed from use immediately.
  2. The Dust Extraction Unit plugs into a 110v / 16amp Power Supply Socket (or 32amp depending on model supplied).
  3. Cables must be kept clear of hazards within the work area, including potential for water ingress, potential for damage, sharp corners etc and must not present a trip hazard to the operator or others working in the area where the equipment is being used.  Extension Cables must be fully unwound prior to use and kept clear of the work area as above.
  4. The equipment plug must be removed from the power supply when carrying out any intervention including emptying the unit or changing bags.
  5. Ensure that the power switch to the unit is turned to the ‘off’ position prior to plugging the unit into the power supply or unplugging the unit and prior to connecting or disconnecting any equipment to/from the unit.
  6. You must ensure that the power supply is appropriate for both the extraction vacuum and any other equipment being used from the same power source.  For further details regarding electrical power requirements please contact Lord Hire Centres.


Work Area

  1. Do not use the Vacuum where there is a risk of fire or explosion.
  2. Make sure that the work area is clear and safe for the operation of the equipment being used.  Make sure that you are not working where you may be distracted by others. Children and Animals must be kept clear of the work area.
  3. This equipment must not be used in the rain or anywhere where it may be at risk of getting wet.


The Basics of Using the Dust Extraction Unit

  1. Ensure that the correct dust bag is correctly fitted to the dust extraction unit.  Check with the Hire Centre that the dust bag provided is correct for the application. Ensure that you can fit, replace and remove the appropriate dust bag correctly before performing such operations. Check vacuum bags for piercings/holes prior to fitting.  Always disconnect the dust extractor from the power supply when changing the vacuum bags. When fitting the top of the dust extraction unit to the base of the unit take great care not to nip your fingers or cause the supply cable to be damaged.  You must ensure that both catches on either side of the unit are correctly secured in position before commencing work.
  2. Ensure the dust extractor is securely stood upright. Where the unit is to be used in a stationary position ensure that the castor brakes are engaged.  Once you are ready to begin work with your power tool/equipment correctly coupled to the vacuum hose and the electrical supply cable connected to the correct power supply turn the unit switch/dial to the ‘ON’ position.
  3. NOTE:The material collected must be disposed of in accordance with all relevant legislation.
  4. This unit must never be used without the dedicated manufacturers correct filters and bags being fitted.
  5. You must never attempt to remove the filter from the unit.  The Dust Extraction Unit has an integral reverse pulse filter self-cleaning feature. The Dust Extraction unit will have either an integral audible warning sounder or visible warning light to alert the operator of any excessive reduction in the suction air flow.  If the unit extraction becomes reduced and the dust extraction becomes ineffective you must cease work immediately and contact Lord Hire Centres.   Similarly, if any dust is noticeably escaping from the dust extraction unit you must cease working, turn ‘off’ the unit immediately, and report this to Lord Hire Centres.


Transportation and Storage of the Equipment

  1. Do not carry or transport the equipment whilst it contains any waste material.  Empty the appliance prior to moving, carrying or transporting the equipment to another location.   Ensure that both open ends of the hose are sealed/capped prior to transporting.
  2. Keep the equipment clean, after each task or between tasks, and prior to return on completion of hire.
  3. You must ensure that the equipment is stored in a clean and dry environment.  Dampness will cause the acceleration of filters becoming clogged and blocked reducing the effectiveness of the unit.