12-06-2024

Dust Management Plan Guide

Dust is an often invisible hazard in workplaces, from construction, demolition, and mining to facilities management, product manufacturing and food manufacturing.

Dust can start to cause damage once in your lungs, so it is vital to minimise how much dust is breathed in if exposed to it at work.

A dust management plan (DMP) has to be specific to the application and work being carried out. Different industries can create various levels and types of dust, and they need to tackle it appropriately.

Tasks which may create dust include sanding, cutting, and manufacturing. A DMP should consist of:

  • Determining how to reduce the amount of dust, if possible
  • How to keep workers safe
  • How to manage the amount of dust that will be present.

It will also cover permit requirements, how weather and seasonality may affect dust and the environmental impacts of the dust.

Dust management is a year-round issue in most industries, especially if working indoors or in areas with poor ventilation. It's crucial to factor in all eventualities in a plan.

 

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Why is a dust management plan needed?

A dust management plan will include the risk of dust in the environment, the types of dust, and how the dust can be reduced or managed.

It will find ways to minimise risk to those in the environment, whether by controlling the dust output or altering work methods.

COSHH Dust Regulations

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) covers activities which may produce dust and expose workers to these hazards.

There are three key things you need to do:

  • Assess (the risks)
  • Control (the risks)
  • Review (the controls)

Assess

The work and the materials involved in the job will determine the risks. The larger the task, the more powerful the tools (such as cut-off saws or drills) and the more enclosed the area, the higher the airborne dust risk.

High-energy tools can create a large amount of dust in a short time. The amount of time a task takes and how frequently it needs to be done will also affect how much dust is in the atmosphere and needs to be dealt with.

Control

Controlling dust production can include minimising the need to cut materials on site, or using less powerful tools that are less likely to create dust.

However, these solutions may not completely eradicate dust. So, it would be best to prevent it from becoming airborne. Using a water-based dust control system can reduce the risk of dust clouds. This often dampens the dust at the point of creation.

You can attach a local exhaust ventilation on-tool extraction system with particular tools. This equipment often comprises an extraction unit and piping, so any dust created is safely collected and captured.

The above may still not completely eliminate the risk of dust, so RPE is also needed. This must be appropriate for the amount and type of dust, suitable for the line of work, and fit the user properly. RPE must also be worn correctly and compatible with other forms of PPE required.

Review

Now that you have assessed your needs and implemented the control measures, you must review everything consistently.

Do the controls seem to be working as they should? Are workers following the correct guidelines and safety measures? Is the equipment being maintained correctly and regularly? The former points should be checked almost daily, if possible, with equipment being examined by a competent person at least every 14 months.

 

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Speedy has more than 200 local service centres nationwide, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery. It has never been easier to hire the tools and equipment you need.

 

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