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Bazzer  
#1 Posted : 18 April 2019 10:48:54(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Bazzer

Recently one of my clients received another HSE visit; this time regarding wood dust. Unknown to me my client was using portable woodworking tools without extraction, but were wearing P3 dust masks, which is fine but they were not face fit tested, so received an IN, again fair enough. But then the inspector said that dry sweeping was banned, and a vaccuum unit should be used, and to get rid of all brushes. She then referred us to the dust video, where a guy is sweeping a large amount of dust, The dust my client was sweeping was from drilling 8 pilot holes in an MDF panel and brushing the swarf/dust off with a hand brush, then dry sweeping this off the floor. Is using the dry sweeping method in this scenario really banned, or is it just a bit over the top.

Elfin Davy 09  
#2 Posted : 18 April 2019 12:25:41(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Elfin Davy 09

Strictly speaking, dry sweeping hasn't been banned (in so much as it's not illegal), but it IS very much frowned upon as it does have the effect of putting dust into the atmosphere.  A vacuum arrangement (be it on tool or a separate unit) is by far the preferred option, although - if it's a realistic option - the floor could be dampened and then swept I suppose, but you'd need to look at that one carefully (and it doesn't deal with the hand brush element of the task either).

Bazzer  
#3 Posted : 18 April 2019 12:40:28(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Bazzer

Yes, I appreciate that it is frowned upon, but honestly the ammount of dust generated by drilliing pilot holes for screws is really minimal, and there is no way dry sweeping will generate a dust cloud large enough to reach the breathing zone; just feel it is over the top. 

Elfin Davy 09  
#4 Posted : 18 April 2019 12:47:39(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Elfin Davy 09

It possibly (and arguably) is.  However, your client didn't help matters by providing masks without fit testing taking place (and also by not keeping you in the loop regarding the use of tools without extraction).

The HSE possibly took the view that they had a "couldn't care less" attitude towards health and safety, so maybe took a slightly different  approach than they might have done if masks had been provided and fit testing carried out (although that said, they still don't like dry sweeping of dust in any quantities).

Bazzer  
#5 Posted : 18 April 2019 12:57:27(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Bazzer

Elfin

You're probably right, particulalry since the RA and SSW stated that masks must be face fitted, and all the guys had signed onto them, proving they didn't read the things properly, and neither did the supervisor, even after I had gone through it with them; The inspector identified it in the documents; They even have portable extractor units to fit the portable equipment.

Elfin Davy 09  
#6 Posted : 18 April 2019 13:10:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Elfin Davy 09

In which case, I think it's a fair cop ..  :-)

Ian Bell2  
#7 Posted : 18 April 2019 13:51:28(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ian Bell2

I think you also have to take the long term view as regards inhalation risks from wood dust.

Ok only a few holes drilled on this occasion. What about tomorrow and the day after and the day after..

At what point do you start taking further dust control measures?

If not until 10 holes drilled, then why not 15 holes etc.

What was the saying - occupational I'll health is just a slow accident.

Summation of risk over a working life also matters.
A Kurdziel  
#8 Posted : 18 April 2019 15:48:24(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

  Are you sure that there is no respirable dust in the breathing zone?  Remember this is very fine dust and you might just be able to see it with a Tyndall light but normally you would not see it.

peter gotch  
#9 Posted : 21 April 2019 15:30:49(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Bazzer

I think we would need to see what the Notice actually alleged before commenting authoritatively!

stevedm  
#10 Posted : 22 April 2019 06:28:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

I had a similar enforcement visit on wood dust...stating that they must not dry sweep...agreed, however only light sanding on finishing...assessment says FFP2 based on time and local enginering controls, said it was rubish and must be FFP3 completely missed the fact that they didn't do face fit testing, use solvents at a separate part of the process to wipe andon't have HAVS assessments, gave a noticed based on not having a H&S plan for the year..!!?  The company have audit actions for from me, prior to this visit for - face fit testing, COSHH assessment and HAVS...

And yes FFP3/ Air fed hoods are used in the solvent wipe area...

They seemed to be more worried about sweeping up than anything else...I get the risks, however when companies are making major investments into engineering controls such as LEV...bearing in mind the area we are talking about has very little surface dust...running a finger along a surface will not leave a mark...I have seen worse pharma production areas...they use LEV and downdraught tables..this is light sanding for minutes per shift..

firesafety101  
#11 Posted : 22 April 2019 13:08:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Can anyone accurately say which individual dust particle will cause the nasal cancer?

MDF is a hazard itself with the chemicals used in production, and machine cutting/drilling creates friction - heat that causes the chemicals to be released.

I would say take the Inspector's advice/guidance on board.  It is not simply a question of her opinion, or ours for that matter but it is a question if the operator's health and that of everyone else in the area.

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