As the construction industry continues to develop and understand more about the health and safety risks onsite, it has become very clear to all that dust management is crucial. Not only is it messy and uncomfortable to work with, construction dust can cause significant harm to workers’ health.
To support our customers, we’re working with Hilti to provide up to date advice and information to help keep you and your team safe and healthy onsite.
Over 500 construction workers are believed to die from exposure to silica dust every year, exposure to harmful dust causes 12,000 lung disease-related deaths a year, many of them in the construction industry. In addition to the risks from lung cancer, silica is also linked to other serious lung diseases including silicosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
As a result, the HSE has introduced the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) regulations which require employers to conduct risk assessments and management strategies for exposure to dust. In addition to this the EH40 regulations specify ~500 materials for which specific Work Exposure Limits (WEL) for inhalable dust have been introduced. These must be strictly adhered to. To enforce these regulations the HSE has increased site inspections, dust awareness campaigns, and issued warnings. Where regulations have not been respected prosecution and site closures were enforced.to raise awareness of the risks of silica exposure.
We are therefore continually looking for ways to improve onsite Health and Safety as well as increase productivity. In addition to the health risks, dust also damages equipment and materials, clogging up motors resulting in costly repairs and downtime.
Some HSE experts consider dust as the “new asbestos in the construction industry” because of its hazardous potential consequences on Health and Safety. Depending on the processed base material, size of the dust particles, concentration in the air and the duration workers are exposed to dust it can lead to severe health issues, and even death if COPD and lung cancer are not bad enough, as well as loss of productivity and work comfort.
As a leading plant supplier to the construction industry, Hilti’s learnings from working with contractors onsite suggests that employers should not deal with the dust topic as a stand-alone Health and Safety issue, but rather find synergies with other health, safety and environmental measures.
By working closely with Hilti, we now offer innovative alternative methods and harmonised systems which are compliant with key health and safety measures including the new dust standard and vibration regulations with the added value of reducing costs and increasing productivity.
Here is an example of how selecting the right tool can tick the box for many health and safety topics.
Despite its industry leading performance, the TE 80-ATC/AVR does not compromise on safety.
- Active Torque Control (ATC) is a unique technology that stops the motor almost instantly, reducing the potential of sudden rotation of the combihammer about its own axis. This reduces wrist injuries and the need for grip force which is known to reduce Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).
- Active Vibration Reduction system (AVR) reduces vibration by up to 2/3 compared with conventional tools. This tool can drill up 250 holes before reaching legal action limits which reduces the need for monitoring and makes HAVS management much easier.
- Dust Extraction System that is harmonised with the extraction head and the M-Class vacuum allows the user to stay below legal dust exposure limit during breaking and drilling applications.
We have also introduced the Hilti VC 40-UME to our hire fleet. This offers our customers even more choice when it comes to dust extraction. Not to mention other revolutionary products like the TE 4-A22 and TE6-A36, which both have integrated vacuum systems available for hire along with the product.
Check out our range of Hilti innovations by clicking the button below.View Hilti Range