If you work in construction or any industry where cutting, grinding or drilling into concrete, stone, or masonry is the norm, you are likely very familiar with the dust produced during these activities. What you may need to be aware of, however, is the danger that this dust can pose to your health. So let’s take a closer look at the importance of dust extraction and the devastating effects of silicosis.
What is silicosis?
Silicosis is a progressive, debilitating and potentially fatal lung disease caused by the inhalation of silica dust. Silica dust is found in stone, rock, sand, gravel and clay and can also be found in bricks, tiles and concrete. It is 100 times smaller than a grain of sand, meaning you can quickly inhale the dust without knowing.
Breathing in silica dust can cause permanent damage to the tiny air sacs in your lungs. Symptoms of silicosis may include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue and weight loss. In severe cases, it can lead to respiratory failure, tuberculosis or death. Unfortunately, silicosis has no cure and can require a transplant.
The importance of dust extraction
The best way to protect yourself from silicosis and other dust-related lung diseases is to use effective dust extraction equipment. Dust extraction is the process of using a machine to capture dust at the source before it has a chance to become airborne.
Several types of dust extraction equipment are on the market, such as handheld tools with built-in dust collection, vacuum systems, and dust shrouds attached to power tools. When used properly, these tools can significantly reduce the amount of dust in the air and help to protect your health. Depending on your tool size, different-sized vacuum systems will be recommended. Some examples of the type of vacuum system required are listed below.
Handheld power tools (maximum of 2,400w): 1,200w vacuum – TDE1 or TDE150-AC
Floor grinders (maximum of 4,000w): 2,400w vacuum – TDE2 or TDE2-AC
Floor grinders (maximum of 8,000w): 3,600w vacuum – TDE3 or TDE3-AC
Floor grinders (maximum of 11,000w): 3,600w vacuum with separator – TDE3 + TDELongo or TDE3-AC + TDELongo
Floor grinders (11,000w+): 7,000w vacuum with separator – TDE800
In addition to using dust extraction equipment, there are other essential steps that you can take to protect yourself from developing silicosis and other lung diseases caused by dust.
- Use the right equipment for the job, including tools with built-in dust collection, vacuum systems and dust shrouds.
- Wear appropriate protective gear such as respirators, safety goggles and a dust mask.
- Make sure the area you are working in is well-ventilated and has fresh air circulating.
- Regularly clean up dust and debris from the work area to prevent these particles from becoming airborne.
Silicosis is a danger that many workers in construction and other industries face every day. Use effective dust extraction equipment and other safety measures to significantly reduce your risk of developing this debilitating disease. Remember, your health is your most valuable asset – so protect it!
At Taman Diamond Tool Solutions, we have a comprehensive product range and the experience to ensure every contractor has the tools for the job. Getting the right equipment and advice from a trusted expert means you’ll get the job done safely and protect the overall longevity of your health.