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How dust busters keep workers safer

Home Business Management Cleaning & Shutdown How dust busters keep workers safer

MANY tasks on construction sites, in workshops or on the production line for industry produce large amounts of dust.

Various precautions must be taken in order to comply with work protection regulations and keep the impact on health as low as possible. The aim is to keep work environments largely dust-free.

Even supposedly harmless types of dust can have an impact on or cause lasting damage to your health when the concentration of dust in the air is very high. Types of dust that also contain constituents such as pollen, quartz, mould, viruses or even asbestos are especially problematic.

Categorising types of dust in terms of the impact they have on health depends on the grain size as well as the properties and exterior shape of the material concerned. For example, what makes asbestos dust dangerous is not only its particle size, but mainly its special fibre structure.

Coarse dust comprises of particles that have a diameter of at least 10μm. Smaller fine dust particles (dust class E) that have a grain size of between 10μm and 0.1μm can enter your nose, throat, larynx and windpipe by just breathing in. Alveoli or respiratory class A dust with a diameter of less than 0.1μm is so fine that it can even penetrate deep into the respiratory tract and alveoli.

Possible consequences of this are reduced lung function, for example, or respiratory diseases such as asthma, silicosis, fibrosis as well as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Safety vacuum cleaners are designed help absorb and dispose of such particles. In the last few years, many details of safety vacuum cleaners used for vacuuming hazardous or large amounts of dust were developed further in terms of efficiency and user-friendliness.

This includes, for example, more effective filter cleaning systems which allow uninterrupted operation, even when dealing with very large quantities of dust. New materials offer a high level of convenience. Consequently, operation, including disposal has become easier.

Against this background, Kärcher is offering its NT range of vacuum cleaners – also known as dust collectors – which are equipped with a power outlet for working with power tools.

According to the company, this makes them especially suitable for general use on a construction site.

It recommended the following measures for reducing the impact of dust:

• Vacuum up dust as soon as it is formed. Many power tools feature connection threads for dust extraction and can be connected to a vacuum cleaner.

• Bind the dust with water when carrying out demolition work to combat the formation of dust.

• Use low-dust procedures. Choose wet or damp operating modes.

• Use low-dust products (e.g. mortar pellets).

• Check the vacuum cleaner’s filter and suction performance regularly.

• Wear protective clothing and dust masks for very dusty tasks.

• Avoid dry sweeping and using blowers to prevent unnecessary dust dispersion. Rather use vacuum cleaners and vacuum sweepers.

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