Dust extraction and management is a key part to keeping you and your employees safe. Dust can be broken down into three main categories, Low risk, Medium risk and High risk. In this article, we explore solutions for these categories and explain why dust extraction and control are vital to maintaining a safe workplace.
Why is Dust Extraction So Important?
Regularly breathing in dust can cause such health problems as:
- Lung Cancer
- may occur in workers exposed to high levels of silica dust over a long period of time.
- scarring of lung tissue resulting in shortness of breath. The effects of silicosis are permanent.
- Irritation and/or damage to the eyes
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- a chronic lung condition that can lead to breathing difficulties such as emphysema in workers exposed to high levels of silica dust over a long period of time.
Information from Festool.com.au and Worksafe.govt.nz
Your Responsibilities as an Owner / Operator
New Zealand law dictates that as a PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) you must ensure the health and safety of your workers and ensure that no one is put at risk from your work.
Worksafe New Zealand state that as a PCBU you must eliminate the risk of these health problems that can arise from improper dust management. and as such are required to maintain control of dust in your workplace.
Dust Risk Classes:
Low Risk (L Class)
Low risk dust includes:
- Lead Based Paint*
- Domestic Dust
Extractors best suited for L Class dust are as follows:
*L, M & H class extractors are all suitable for lead based paint if they are correctly fitted with a HEPA filter.
Festool CT 15 comes standard with HEPA filter.
Medium Risk (M Class)
Medium risk dust includes:
- Fibre Cement (Hardies)
- Aerated Stone
- Natural Stone
Extractors best suited for M Class dust are as follows:
High Risk (Class H)
High risk dust includes:
- Engineered Stone
Extractors best suited for H Class dust are as follows: