Contractors as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration know the importance of suppressing and collecting the dust generated by construction drilling into concrete. The silica particles are known to cause lung cancer, silicosis – scarring of the lung tissue, limiting their ability to ingest oxygen – and other debilitating diseases. And as of September 2017, additional OSHA regulations require more stringent engineering controls to limit worker exposure to airborne crystalline silica.
Safety Measures When Concrete Drilling
Fortunately, common equipment is available to improve construction safety. Any worker who drills, cuts, or crushes concrete should include in their safety wardrobe:
- A face mask and respirator to avoid inhaling particulates
- Earplugs to block the noise created by the drill and the air compressor
- Safety glasses to keep chipped concrete debris from damaging the eyes
But the most effective construction safety measure for combatting silica dust are dust-suppression and dust-collection measures. Suppression kits use water to dampen down the dust and keep it from becoming airborne. However, water-based methods are not always practical or even possible in the field. Dust-collection tools use powerful vacuums to suck the dust out of the air before it can find its way to workers’ respiratory systems.
Benefits of Dust-Collection Systems
Vacuum components enjoy other advantages over water-based suppression methods. While worker protection is the best reason to employ a dust-collection system in construction drilling, keeping concrete dust out of the air provides productivity benefits as well. Flying dust can easily settle on greased areas of the drill. The gritty silica is abrasive, making the lubricant ineffective. When concrete dust mixes with water it turns to, well, concrete, which can settle and harden on drill controls.
Vacuums also can draw dust particles not only from the air, but from the holes being drilled as well; holes are left clean and epoxy-ready. Water suppression kits can leave a slurry at the bottom of blind holes.
The E-Z Drill Solution For Concrete Drilling Safety
Pro Tool and Supply is proud to distribute the simplest, most efficient, and most cost-effective dust-collection system on the market for construction drilling. E-Z Drill has developed an attachment that fits any of its premium drills. It includes a “boot” that surrounds the bit guide and contains the dust. As the bit penetrates the concrete, the vacuum captures the dust flying from the surface and sides of the hole as well as particles and chips that fall or are pushed by the bit into the hole. The pneumatically powered vacuum runs off the same compressor that runs the drill, saving space and making set-up a breeze.
Request a quote today to learn more about this E-Z Drill vacuum and the other construction safety supplies we carry, or call us at 1-888-776-0007 to learn how E-Z Drill’s vacuum attachment can make your construction drilling safer and more effective.