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Safety at Work - Dust Supression

Protect your lungs when using cut-off saws.

Cutting kerbs, paving or blocks with a disc cutter can produce enormous amounts of dust (stone dust). This stone dust contains respirable crystalline silica(RCS) and exposure to this dust can create serious health problems.

  • Silicosis - Breathing becomes more difficult and increases the risk of lung infections
  • Lung Cancer
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD). COPD is a group of lung diseases like bronchitis and emphysema that may also be caused by RCS, resulting in coughing and breathlessness. This disease is slow to develop.

To manage or reduce the risk

1. Damp down the dust. Water suppression is your first line of defence. All modern cut-off saws have an attachment for a water hose. The water can be supplied from a mains feed or a pressurised water bottle.

2. Wear a suitable dust mask. Nuisance-grade dust masks do not protect your lungs. Use one with an assigned protection factor of at least 10. Use either FFP3 filtering face-pieces or orinasal respirators with P3 filters.

3. Maintain equipment. Make sure water jets are working properly. Replace worn dics to reduce the cutting time. Maintain hoses and bottles. Maintain and inspect masks.

Make sure you deal with other risks, e.g:

  • Noise
  • Flying debris
  • Water Spray
  • Hand arm vibration
  • Manual handling

Information leaflets and DVD's can be obtained from County Hire.

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