How Can I Control & Reduce Dust On Building Sites And Quarries?

Control & reducing dust on building sites and quarries is necessary as dust is a hazard to health.  Once the dust has escaped into the air – it can be almost impossible to control it and to prevent it from dispersing outwards into the area around. Certain operations are especially likely to produce quantities of dust – things like sand-blasting, grinding and cutting all produce copious amounts of dust.

There are regulations to prevent pollution which have to be adhered to. So dust suppression is important for legal reasons as well as for health and safety. When you can stop it from spreading at the source, then it is far easier to control and makes for a safer working environment. When you use the best equipment then dust suppression becomes manageable.

What Are The Hazards Of dust?

Dust comes in a range of particle size and material – and this relates to the health hazards from that dust.

Particle Size

PM10 these dust particles are less than 10mm in diameter – and can be a serious health problem since when they are breathed in they can enter the finer airway passages and thus penetrate further into the lungs. Local residents, as well as on-site personnel, may be affected.

Larger particles settle out of the air faster and tend not to spread to areas outside the immediate working area. Although they do not penetrate as far into the lungs depending on the material they can still be damaging to health.

Dust can also irritate the eyes and skin. Sometimes the effects are immediate – and other times they can take years to develop – as was often the case with asbestos. So it is vital to reduce the amount of dust flying around in the air – and the use of water to dampen it down is an effective method of dust suppression.

What Are My Legal Obligations In Dust Reduction?

Part IV of the Environment Act, (1995) and the UK Air Quality Strategy.  This act states that  Local Authorities must comply with national air quality objectives. This means that construction sites have to show that they are ensuring that both the fine particles and dust emissions control conform to the proper standards.

More details are available on this dust on building sites and quarries here.

Air Quality & Dust Control

The air quality required is defined as “50 mg m-3, for ambient concentrations of PM10 as a running 24-hour mean”. This must not be exceeded by more than 35 times a year in England or 7 times in Scotland.

Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations

Asbestos has its own set of strict regulations through the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations (1987.

Specific Regulations For Control Of Dust

There are regulations concerning different processors such as concrete pouring, grit blasting and grinding and more. The movement of vehicles is another area where dust needs to be reduced, especially when the weather is warm and dry. Where water is used to damp down the dust, the run-off must not be permitted to pollute other water supplies.

 9 Tips For Reducing Dust On Site

  • Position washing facilities, like as hose-pipes and plenty of water close to the vehicle exit – It’s important to ensure that vehicles leaving the site comply with regulations concerning mud on the roads.
  • Regularly spray the surface with water to stop the dust from rising and dispersing.
  • Wheel washing facilities near the exits – sometimes the entire vehicle needs a wash before leaving the premises.
  • Keep site traffic to watered areas or specific haul roads.
  • Limit the movement of vehicles where practical.
  • Control speed limits – slower vehicles throw up less dust. Recommended speeds are 5mph for unmade roads and less than 20 mph for surfaced roads.
  • Cleaning roads where necessary with approved road sweepers – ensure you comply with the regulations concerning public highways.
  • Use covered wagons where possible.
  • The water supply

Water needs to be both adequate in amount and able to reach the target area. Do you need water storage tanks, bowsers to move it around and hoses to reach all parts of the quarry or building site?

The Water Supply Standards

You do not require potable standards and if you have the means to collect and store rainwater then that is satisfactory. Storage of mains water on-site can come under the regulations of fluid category 5.

More details on what a CAT5 water supply is here and why you need to comply.

Bowsers Suppression Bowsers

Pressure or jet washer Bowsers make the task of cleaning vehicles and equipment easy. If you need a portable pressure washer why not consider a diesel pressure washer, specially designed for use in construction sites?

Enduramaxx offers site tow pressure washers or skid mounted bowsers. These are extremely tough and easy to transport around the site or quarry. The site tow pressure washers have heavy-duty axles, tyres and running gear to cope with the rigours of quarry work. The skid-mounted pressure washers have fork pockets so you can move them around the site with ease.

Enduramaxx have a range of dust suppression bowsers, fitted with dribble bars, ideal for construction sites. These are cost-effective method of reducing the spread of dust and uses the right amount of water to prevent waste yet suppress the dust effectively. You can see an example here on our site tow dust suppression bowsers.

How Can I Control & Reduce Dust?

Quarries and building sites produce dust – it cannot be helped. But the dust has health hazards both to the workers on-site and, if the dust is allowed to disperse then to other people outside the site as well.

Suppression of dust is done with the aid of water – and the water needs to be in the right place and in the right quantity. Dealing with the dust at the source and before it disperses into the atmosphere makes dust suppression far easier than trying to chase after it when the dust has escaped.

You need the right equipment in the right place, with sufficient water to damp down the dust effectively without a huge amount of run-off. The equipment must be sturdy and very tough to withstand the rigours of quarrying or building site work. Enduramaxx offers a wide selection of portable water storage tanks, bowsers and spray bars specially designed for building sites and quarries.

If you would like to find out more about the control of dust on building sites and quarries, please give us a ring on 01778 562810.

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