Dirt and Dust – What is the problem?
Dirt and dust from construction work regularly impacts on members of the public, with dust in the summer months and mud in the winter, and at CCS they are regular causes for complaints we receive from the public. To support CCS-registered activity in tackling this issue and minimising the impact of dirt and dust, we are sharing some useful resources and best practices that you can implement on site.
Managing the impact of dirt and dust
Those that live and work around construction activity may be heavily impacted by dirt and dust from the construction activity with roads, pathways and personal property being covered in dirt or dust. Dust and dirt may also cause damage to the environment affecting flora and aquatic life.
For the workforce, dust may also be an occupational health hazard, causing lung function problems and diseases including silicosis, asthma and cancer.
There are a number of common practices constructors should be following to protect against dirt and dust:
- Stop the dust getting into the air – wet cutting and on-tool extraction are both very effective for hand tools and use larger dust extraction technology and scrubbing technology for industrial scale processes.
- Make sure any vehicles or machinery leaving site is rinsed down before it travels on public highways to prevent the spread of mud and dirt to the roads.
- Communicate to neighbours ahead of any scheduled works that may cause excess dust.
- Use alternative work methods – limit the amount you cut or use non-powered equipment such as a block splitters.
- Ensure you are using the correct personal protective equipment, including respiratory protection with a suitable safety rating.
- Regularly clean and sweep the roads and pathways around the site (preferably with a vacuum function during dry periods to minimise dust creation).
Consider what time of day activities that might cause excessive dust take place so that the impact is minimised on those around site.
Best practice resources
Sprinkler system to control dust – Ardmore Group’s site logistics team installed a four-arm rotating sprinkler which operates either as a jet or mist spray, right where the dust is created to reduce dust levels. It is efficiently damped down creating a much improved working environment.
Portable dust extractor – Lendlease submitted an entry on a portable dust extractor called a Hazpod, used as a dust and fume risk management system. It filters dust and fumes to HEPA levels and has proved invaluable in preventing dust migration through the entire site.
Lazer level with vacuum suction – Morgan Sindall use a special tool that has built-in levels and a hole to drill through so that it automatically collects dust to keep the working environment dust free.
Water re-use wheel wash – This Ferrovial Agroman site installed an automatically activated drive-through spray wash system that uses recycled water to prevent the spread of site dirt and debris on to public highways.
Submit your own examples to the Best Practice Hub here.