Build Magazine April 2016

Build Magazine 60 • Wall chasing • Grinding and sanding • Block and stone cutting • Drilling • Sweeping floors • Cutting of softwood, hardwood and wood based products • Movement of rubble during site clearance • Demolition • Carpentry Once the hazard has been recognised, reasonably practicable control measures must be developed and applied to protect the workforce. In the first instance a risk assessment should be carried out, including accurate measurement of dust levels. This must be monitored regularly to ensure that dust control measures are being maintained. In order to reduce exposure, dust should be elimi- nated through the use of alternative construction methods or less risky materials wherever possible. Work should also be organised to reduce airborne particles through the use of less powerful tools or industrial dust extraction methods. If dust remains, respiratory protective equipment (RPE) should be worn as a last resort. When considering the correct type of RPE the type of hazardous dust present, activity being undertaken and workplace environment should be assessed by the employer to determine whether a disposable, reusable half mask, full face mask or powered air unit is most suitable. Disposable masks are most appropriate for short duration applications, providing a maintenance free protection solution, while full face masks provide integrated eye and face protection. Powered air respirators are also available for longer duration applications, helping to reduce burden on the lungs and increase wearer acceptance, as well as helping with PPE compati- bility. For all applications with a P3 filter, providing high efficiency protection is recommended when working with construction dust. Arco recommend that in order to fully protect your employees, face fit testing should be carried out on all tight fitting RPE, with the exception of powered air solutions, as this will ensure that it is providing the correct level of protection. You wouldn’t submerge a diver under water with a leaking mask, so why do we send construction workers into potentially deadly breathing conditions every day? It takes just 20 minutes to test and kit out a worker with a professionally fitted face mask, yet every day, thousands of construction workers are put at risk of contracting lung disease, breathing in deadly silica dust through poorly fitting respiratory equipment. As members of Fit2Fit, an accreditation scheme set up by the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) to confirm the competency of any person performing face piece fit testing, Arco has helped to protect thousands of workers in the past 12 months alone. As people’s faces all differ in shape and size, it is unlikely that one particular type or size of RPE face-piece will fit every individual. Face-fit testing checks that the equipment selected is suitable for the wearer. Arco conduct training and testing on two methods; quantitative and qualitative, both of which result in matching an individu- al’s face shape with a compatible mask to ensure that a tight seal is achieved. For disposable and half face masks, the qualitative method can be used, which involves the use of a bitter solution sprayed into a test hood. If the individual can taste the solution, it is deemed as a break in the mask’s seal. The quantitative method can be employed for all tight fitting RPE (Dis- posables, half masks and full face masks) and involves the use of a particle counting machine and probe to measure contamina- tion levels inside the mask compared with the external environment. The Arco Training & Consultancy team also provide on site air monitoring, COSHH awareness courses and training on Confined Spaces, how to use self-con- tained breathing apparatus, gas tight suits, positive pressure respiratory protection equipment and negative pressured respira- tory protection equipment. ¹ 2 3 Products and Innovation