UCL logo

More Info
UCL managers UCL managers/supervisors who are managing work must ensure dust control management is considered during the planning stage, before the works start on site.

People who are Overseeing Works and Contracts need to ensure that Principal Contractors are complying with the Safety Rules for Contractors, which details specific requirements regarding dust management.

Depending on the nature of the work being carried out, the management of dust might also require special reference in a Principal Contractor's Construction Phase Plans.

Due to the hazardous nature of work which involves the production of dust, any staff who are involved in managing or overseeing this type of work are advised to consult with UCL Safety Services as soon as they are aware that dust might be an issue

Dust as a Hazard The term 'dust' refers to all 'airborne particles' from wood, stone, sand, concrete, asbestos fibres, mould spores, welding fumes and diesel exhausts. It also includes vapours from general solvents and from spraying two-pack paints containing isocyanates. All dusts are potentially dangerous but some are particularly risky.

1. Asbestos Asbestos is a killer and poses a major risk to health. The UCL Asbestos Management Plan describes the UCL arrangements.

2. Stone dust - silica Most types of stone, concrete blocks, kerbs, slabs, sand, gravel and cement contain silica which fragments into tiny particles called respirable crystalline silica (RCS). This fine, invisible dust is highly dangerous and if inhaled lodges in the lower 'gas exchange'; region of the lung, causing silicosis.

3. Wood dust Wood dust is generated from soft and hard wood, fibreboards, chipboard and MDF when sawn, sanded, drilled or routed. Sanding produces the most dangerous fine dust but all particles irritate the sinuses and nasal passages and can cause rhinitis, dermatitis, nasal cancer and asthma.

4. Other dusts In addition to the main groups, there are many dusts, fumes and vapours emanating from diesel exhaust particulates, welding, mould spores, lead, solvents, sprays from two-pack paints and other chemicals which may all cause serious ill health, such as asthma, COPD, dermatitis and rhinitis.

Managing Dust

1. AVOID EXPOSURE The best way to control dust exposure is not to create dust at all. Change the design or specification if possible

2. PREVENT AND CONTROL EXPOSURE If dust creation is likely and unavoidable, conduct a risk assessment. Use tools fitted with extraction systems to extract dust at source Use tools fitted with water suppression equipment to stop dust becoming airborn

3. MINIMISE EXPOSURE Use of specific dust control equipment i.e. Air Cleaners: designed for cleaning air within a working area or Zip wall: a unique screening system which can be installed in minutes by just one person and Tacky/sticky mats can contain the spread of dust from the site into other neighbouring areas. Avoid creating dust in enclosed spaces which can increase risk.

4. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) PPE is important but is the last line of defence. Make sure you use the right type and it fits correctly. Use the correct PPE e.g. for short term work a filtering face mask may be appropriate. For longer duration or high risk materials, a powered respirator or breathing apparatus may be necessary Donít sweep-up. This releases dust into the air. Use an application Class (H) or (M) filter dust extractor unit The most dangerous dust is invisible. Use dust monitoring equipment to make the invisible, visible.

Useful Links
Safety and Sustainability
H&S Policy
New Staff
Safety and Sustainability Training
Safety and Sustainability Topics
Managing Staff
Overseeing Contracts
Maintenance and Repair
Contractors and Designers
Contact Us

University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT - Telephone: +44 (0)20 7679 2000 - Copyright © 1999-2015 UCL