There are many dangers construction workers need to be aware of throughout their day. One that isn’t given as much attention as it should is dust. Concrete, wood, and so many more materials can cause dust to accumulate during a construction project. Dust isn’t just bad for the environment, either. There are many health effects that can be caused by dust as well. A main concern for construction workers is Respirable Crystalline Silica, which occurs when there is drill, cut, grind, or crush in materials like concrete, stone, concrete, brick, and mortar. Respirable Crystalline Silica can easily travel through a construction worker’s lungs and cause a lung disease called Silicosis.
Some other health effects that can occur from dust include:
Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease
Dust is such a huge threat to construction workers and the people around a site that OSHA has standards to protect them from its dangers. This is also why so many construction workers wear goggles and dust masks. The good news is that there are more than a few more ways you can keep the dust contained and out of the air. All you have to do is follow these tips for minimizing dust at construction sites.
Using water is perhaps the most popular way construction sites deal with dust. Water is an excellent way to keep construction project costs low and minimize dust onsite. Water can be sprayed on a construction site from a heavy-duty truck several times a day. Using water on the site prevents the chance for dust to become airborne. However, one thing to keep in mind is to avoid using too much water because it can create runoff and erosion problems.
One of the main reasons why construction sites put up temporary barriers is so they can block the wind from blowing dust everywhere. A wind barrier ranges from netting to wood and tower over a construction site. For a barrier to work effectively against the wind, it must be strategically placed around the site and tall enough to prevent erosion. Depending on the construction site’s location, you can utilize a natural barrier like trees to your advantage to block the wind as well.
If the construction takes place indoors for remodeling, make sure you seal the various doorways. A doorway can be sealed using a plastic layer that prevents dust from spreading in the air. Some projects utilize a dust door as well. In addition to sealing doorways properly, there should also be a designated door for entry and exits.
Stone is another piece of material that can keep erosion away from your construction site. Stone is used for construction in various ways and can also act as a barrier for dust. This can be seen with road construction with barriers made from stone. Not only do the barriers divide lanes, but they also keep dust from getting into the air and harming drivers on active roads.
Vegetation and Mulch
If you want a more environmentally friendly method, you can use vegetation or mulch to minimize dust. The great thing about mulch is that it will keep soil in place when it gets windy outside. With the addition of vegetation, you can reduce wind even more once it starts to grow.
A polymer is a synthetic substance that can be applied to a construction site to suppress dust. This is because a watered-down polymer can form all the soil particles in dust together, which will then dry it. As with water, polymers are sprayed via a truck on the construction site. Using polymer is an effective option for dust control if this is in an area vehicles don’t travel.
If you’re dealing with a surface that has frequent vehicle travel, chloride is a good option to go with. Calcium chloride is a material that can help control the dust on a construction site. This is because chloride is a hygroscopic material, so it can spread moisture on a surface, such as an unpaved road, that is full of dust and keep the dust from getting into the air.
Tackifiers and Soil Stabilizers
Another tip for minimizing dust at construction sites is to use tackifiers and soil stabilizers. Both of these chemicals effectively keep dust from spreading into the air on a site. A soil stabilizer is used to withstand any erosion, while a tackifier will keep the dust in place.
If you’re working on a flat surface, tillage is another option to consider. Tillage is typically used in agriculture, but it can be used in construction as well. This method will rough soil and prevent the spread of it from the wind. Tilling also includes divots in the ground that will keep wind erosion to a minimum.
A fantastic piece of heavy equipment to consider on your site is a sweeper. A sweeper can be used to clean debris on a site as well. However, this method is more effective once a project is finished, because it still releases dust into the air. It won’t eliminate the dust problem, but it can be used to wipe it off. In addition to a sweeper, a vacuum can also be incredibly effective in getting rid of dust. Cleaning up after a project is important, and a sweeper can help make that process as successful as possible.
Fans are one of the worst things that you can allow into a construction site when you are trying to control dust. A fan or heating-and-cooling-system will instantly spread dust around a room. So, try your best to keep fans out of an area where dust is present and adjust the HVAC system so it isn’t running if there are ducts.
Demolition projects are also at risk of dust, so take the necessary precautions. Nonetheless, Brokk remote demolition is one the safest and most effective ways to perform a project of large scale, and it is professionally serviced by Diamond Concrete Sawing.