How to Stay Safe from Dust in Construction Operations

Dust overload is a prominent concern for many construction businesses, particularly those who work with certain materials or operate in small, enclosed, or overly dry environments. Every construction project should take steps to increase dust control, as excessive dust inhalation can cause a number of hazardous lung conditions.

Protection is key when it comes to owning a business, and there are certain methods that can be utilized to help protect against dust. In addition to developing a comprehensive insurance plan for your New Mexico business that is tailor-made for the construction industry, enact these protective measures in your operation.

Sprinkling/Irrigation

It can be useful to sprinkle the ground surface with water until it is moist for haul roads and other traffic. This effective dust control method can be applied practically anywhere.

Vegetative Cover

Vegetative stabilization of disturbed soil is helpful in areas with little vehicle traffic. Vegetative cover provides coverage to soil while slowing wind velocity at the ground surface, which helps prevent dust from lifting up into the air.

Mulch

Mulching can be a quick and effective means of dust control for a recently disturbed area, by reducing wind erosion up to 80%.

Wind Breaks

Windbreaks are barriers that reduce wind velocity and the possibility of suspended particles. They can be trees or shrubs left in place or constructed barriers such as a wind fence, tarp curtain, hay bale, crate wall, or sediment wall.

Tillage

Deep tillage in large open areas brings soil clods to the surface where they rest on top of dust, preventing it from stirring up. Roughening the soil may reduce soil losses by roughly 80 percent.

Stone

Stone can be an effective in deterring dust for construction roads in areas where there is no vegetation. Keep in mind that the sizes of the stone can affect the amount of erosion to take place. For example, in areas of high wind, small stones are not as effective.

Chemical Treatments

Some chemical adhesives include anionic asphalt emulsion, latex emulsion, resin-water emulsions, and calcium chloride. Chemical should be used only on mineral soils. Consider whether the chemical is biodegradable or water-soluble as well as what effect it could have on the surrounding environment, including water bodies and wildlife.

Limitations

In areas with high evaporation rates, water may be heavily applied to exposed soils. If water is applied in excess, irrigation can cause excess runoff from the site and could create conditions where vehicles track mud onto public roads.

Chemical applications should be used sparingly and with caution. Misuse can create additional surface water pollution from runoff or contaminate groundwater. Chemical applications may also present a health risk if used excessively.

 

About Daniels Insurance, Inc.

At Daniels Insurance, Inc., we have a unique understanding of the risks that businesses like yours face on a regular basis. With the backing of our comprehensive coverages and our dedication to customer service and quick claims resolution, your business will be fully protected. For more information, contact us today at (855) 565-7616.