Many Construction workers die every week from lung diseases caused by exposure to dust and using the wrong water to suppress it. Many more suffer from severe chronic long-term lung conditions. Don’t make the same mistake as those who have not realised the health risks of exposure to dust and have worked unprotected.
The easiest way to minimise and control dust on-site during the summer months is to use dust suppression, this can be a mixture of sprinkler hoses and dust suppression bowsers.
When filling these bowsers, it is advised that you do not use groundwater/pond/river/lake or harvested rainwater, as this too can present another massive health risk. The risks involve the bacteria that are present and commonly found in these sources can cause the following risks but are not limited to:
- Legionella – Legionella bacteria are found in soil and fresh water sources in the natural environment. It grows readily at temperatures ranging between 20 and 50°C. As the name suggests, it’s also the species that causes Legionnaires’ disease. Symptoms of the disease include breathing difficulties, dry cough, flu-like symptoms and in some cases vomiting, diarrhoea and delirium.
- Ecoli – E. coli is a type of bacteria that is commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract of warm-blooded animals. It is also found in surface water, such as lakes and rivers, as well as in groundwater. The presence of E. coli in groundwater can indicate fecal contamination and potential health risks to humans who consume or use the water.
- Coliforms – Coliforms are a family of bacteria that occur naturally in soil and decaying vegetation as well as in the intestines of warm-blooded animals, including humans. The presence of coliforms on a water test indicates the potential presence of disease-causing microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, and protozoan cysts) in water – or, at least, that a pathway exists for those bacteria to enter the water. That’s why they’re often referred to as “indicator organisms”. Many coliforms are completely harmless. Fecal coliforms, however, like E.coli, can make people sick with symptoms that include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and headaches, and can even lead to kidney failure. That’s why a positive coliform test should be taken seriously – especially if infants, young children, the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems.
- Pseudomonas – Pseudomonas is a type of bacteria (germ) that is found commonly in the environment, like in soil and in water. Of the many different types of Pseudomonas, the one that most often causes infections in humans is called Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause infections in the blood, lungs (pneumonia), or other parts of the body after surgery.
To reduce this risk it is recommended that clean water from a potable source is used in all dust suppressions and water bowsers on site, we also advise regular and frequent turn around of the water to avoid the risk of water stagnating and potentially increasing the risk of bacteria growth.
In summer months we would advise that dust suppression bowsers are used and emptied more frequently and filled with clean water from a potable source to again reduce the risk of the water falling into the danger zone for growth of bacteria between 20 degrees c and 50 degrees c.
All water supplied by Tardis comes from a traceable potable source that we are licenced to use. All operatives that abstract the water are calms network trained to ensure the best quality of water is sourced whilst putting no strain on the water network in which we all rely on.
At Tardis we have many types of dust suppression devices and units that can be viewed online at Tardis environmental spec sheet library, if there is something you need and can’t see please get in touch with us and we will be more than happy to assist you.
We have many items available from 1000ltr Dusts bars that only require gravity to create water suppression right up to 10,000ltr big daddy’s that use a 2” petrol pump to spray a rainbow type pattern whilst being towed by on site plant.
HSE targets construction workers’ lung health with nationwide inspection campaign
11th May 2023
Failure to prevent life-threatening diseases caused by dust at work is unacceptable, says the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), as it gears up for a summer targeting construction sites across Great Britain.
Supported by HSE’s Dust Kills campaign, which provides free advice to businesses and workers on the control measures required to prevent exposure to dust, the inspections throughout May, June and July will focus on respiratory risks from exposure to dust.
Each year in the construction industry, there are thousands of preventable cases of irreversible lung disease due to past exposure to dust at work. These diseases often have a life-changing impact and can result in an early death.
HSE’s chief inspector of construction, Michael Thomas, said: “Every year we see construction workers die from diseases caused or made worse by their work. This is unacceptable in the 21st century, when occupational lung disease is preventable.
“We are urging employers and workers to take the necessary precautions today to protect their long-term lung health, to avoid them and their families suffering from the devastating impact that can result.”
Starting on Monday, 15 May 2023, the inspections, part of a respiratory health intervention initiative, will specifically focus on dust control, checking employers and workers know the risks, plan their work, and are using the right controls.
Inspectors will be checking the control measures in place to protect workers from inhaling construction dusts including silica (Respirable Crystalline Silica/RCS) and wood dust. They will also gain assurances that asbestos containing materials have been identified and removed or managed where necessary to prevent or reduce exposure.
The initiative is supported by HSE’s Dust Kills campaign. This provides simplified advice and guidance on the Work Right website, for employers, small builders and workers, to help everyone understand the risks and how to stay healthy on site.
The primary aim of the inspection initiative is to ensure workers’ health is being protected. However, if safety risks or other areas of concern are identified, inspectors will take the necessary action to deal with them.
Michael Thomas continued: “Our inspectors will visit a range of construction sites to check businesses are taking the necessary action to ensure their workers’ long-term respiratory health is being protected. Through engaging with those on site, we can make sure they have considered the job from start to finish, have considered the risks at each stage, and are managing the risks
with effective measures in line with the broad hierarchy of control options such as water suppression, extraction, and as a last resort Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE).
For any questions, or to request a quote email email@example.com