When Dust Levels Are Too High – Measuring the Need for Dust Suppression Equipment

Does my worksite require dust suppression equipment? What are some of the indicators that would suggest I need to invest in dust suppression technology?

Above are a couple of the questions most commonly asked by developers and construction site managers. To some, it may seem trivial or low down on the list of priorities (especially where finances are concerned), however ensuring worksite dust doesn’t reach an excessive level is of the utmost importance. As well, it is essential that site managers have the foresight to recognize when dust control is necessary.

This is why today, we are going to talk about some of the signs that point to dust levels being too high, as well as the consequences of not recognizing these signs and the effect such a mistake could have on your business later on down the line.

Let’s jump right in…

Here are some scenarios in which a site manager would need to step in and reevaluate the need for dust suppression equipment:

    • Workers start to notice physical symptoms of poor air quality. Your employees come to you and explain that they are experiencing frequent coughing or difficulty breathing as a result of dust particles in and around the jobsite. Your workers urge you to look into dust suppression equipment such as water cannons or a wind fence.
    • An employee goes on record and files a formal complaint – this can become quite a serious situation and in some cases, may lead to your company being served with a warning, or even a Stop Work Order. This could cost your project thousands upon thousands just based on the delay in construction activities.
    • A resident of the neighbourhood files a complaint citing that dust has become an issue for citizens in the area, and threatens to take legal action.
    • Your project is fined by the city for every day that dust isn’t controlled. Such fines can be extremely costly over a long period of time.
    • Workers are forced to take sick leave because conditions surrounding air quality have become so poor that their doctors have suggested worksite dust as being the cause of respiratory issues. This is the worst-case scenario as it can absolutely prompt an employee (or several) to take legal action. If this were to happen, your company could wind up paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. Although this is rare, it can happen if a company is negligent in its obligations to provide a safe and healthy working environment for its employees.

These scenarios may seem extreme, but they can and will occur when a site becomes a dangerous place to work in terms of air quality. There are so many safety measures and guidelines strictly enforced to avoid accidental injury on the job, for example mandatory hard hats and steel toe boots – so why is this sometimes not the case with respect to dust control? There is just as much potential for danger, however some disregard the risk in the belief that it won’t happen to them – but this kind of mentality is very irresponsible and shortsighted.

At Enviro Handling Solutions, we have an abundance of affordable options to protect your workers as well as your bottom line. Contact us today to discover all the ways we can help to manage and suppress hazardous dust and support a healthy, productive working environment.