Are you aware of the risk Silica dust can cause your business and your employees? Silica (silicon dioxide) is the largest risk to workers after asbestos. It is vital that you know the dangers of Silica dust and how to prevent the damage it causes. Below, you can learn more about silica and how to protect yourself or employees against it.
Silica is a natural substance found in most rocks, sand or clay and in products such as bricks and concrete. Fine silica dust is created by undertaking many construction tasks such as; grinding, drilling and cutting.
Silica dust is not visible to the human eye but only a small amount of silica dust in the air is enough to be considered a risk. The most effective way to prevent Silica dust exposure is to keep it out of the air.
When silica dust is inhaled, it can cause serious harm to vital organs such as the lungs and kidneys. This can cause unfortunate life-changing diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD), Asthma and Silicosis. Recent research conducted by HSE found that 4000 people die every year from chronic lung conditions and so appropriate measures must be taken in order to protect yourself and others.
One of the best solutions for avoiding the dangers of silica is to use a HEPA filter on our sweeper machine. HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters work to trap air small, medium and large contaminants in a complex web of fibres to prevent the risk of silica dust being inhaled.
An advantage of the HEPA Filter is that as they become saturated with contaminant, airflow capacity decreases and static pressure increases, and, as a result, the filters become more efficient as the filter loads.
HEPA filters tend to have a lifespan of approximately 3 and 5 years in a standard, cleanroom environment. Of course, there are variables and this can depend on the degree of contamination in the environment and maintenance of the pre-filters. The capacity of the fan filter unit (HEPA or ULPA filter) decreases over time as the filter will become saturated so it is important to monitor your filter over time to ensure it is in fully working order.
The recommended speed of the filter surface is 0.45 m/s. Once this can no longer be met, a replacement of the filter is required. This process is monitored by a differential pressure gauge and information made available via the cleanroom’s touchscreen control interface. For more information on how to maintain your HEPA filter, you can contact one of our experts here.
Hako Machines Ltd are now able to provide HEPA filters in all of their sweeper machines, HEPA filters can trap particles both large and small including Silica dust to reduce the risk of the harm caused by Silica in the air.