Steve Johnson, territory manager, end user team at Festool, discusses the importance of dust extraction.
As all tradespeople know, working with any material produces dust that is often harmful. Construction work produces dust that can be incredibly dangerous for those working on a site, and can potentially lead to major health issues, including lung cancer, silicosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). According to a 2017 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report, an estimated 13,000 deaths per year are the result of exposure to dust and chemicals at work. It is, therefore, vital that those on-site are protected to maintain their health and well-being.
Construction dusts include silica dust (from materials such as concrete, sandstone and mortar), wood dust (from wood-based products) and lower toxicity dust (from materials that contain minimal levels of silica such as marble or limestone). When carrying out tasks such as sanding, sawing or dry sweeping, these dust materials are produced. The dust generated can be divided into three categories, which indicate the suitability of the extractors for any given dust. It is essential to select the dust category for the mobile dust extractor according to the material they are working with. For example, when working with concrete it is best to use a dust extractor in an M class or higher.
Today, minimising the amount of harmful dust in the work environment is simple.
Dust extractors can be directly connected to power tools, removing the majority of dust produced at the source. This significantly reduces the amount of dust within the air and safeguards the health of those on the construction site. New innovative dust extractors, such as the Festool CTM MIDI, have integrated Bluetooth technology that enables the dust extractor to be started automatically when a cordless power tool is switched on. A number of Festool’s dust extractors have AUTOCLEAN (AC) function which cleans the filter at intervals to ensure consistently high suction power.
For building sites, where high levels of dust are often produced, a high-class dust extractor is often required. Choosing the right dust extractor for the materials being worked with – and one with features such as integrated Bluetooth – make compliancy simple and work easier.