Protecting Workers During Hazardous Materials Abatement
Enviro-Vac’s vacuum loaders and automated baggers are powerhouses when it comes to the cleanup and decontamination of hazardous dust materials. Having the correct equipment for the job is only one important step toward a safe and highly efficient cleanup or decontamination undertaking.
Having a qualified third-party complete a survey of the facility or building is the first step which is followed by the selected abatement contractor having their “qualified and trained person” as defined by WorkSafe, develop a proper risk-assessments and exposure control plan with site specific procedures is the next step in the process.
There are many hazardous materials in the workplace Asbestos and lead coatings are the obvious and most well known hazards in a typical building but there are many other hazardous materials in a typical building or facility that present a potential hazard to workers. They include mercury, mould, PCB coatings, arsenic, heavy metal dust, silica dust and combustible dusts just to mention a few.
Airborne dusts are of particular concern because they are associated with classic widespread occupational lung diseases, as well as with systemic intoxications such as lead poisoning, especially at higher levels of exposure. There is also increasing interest in other dust-related diseases, such as cancer, asthma, allergies and irritation, as well as a whole range of non-respiratory illnesses, which may occur at much lower exposure levels.
Whenever people inhale airborne dust at work, they are at risk of occupational disease. Dusts in the workplace may also contaminate or reduce the quality of products, be the cause of fire and explosion, and damage the environment. If unprotected workers are exposed to concrete and silica dust, they can acquire silicosis which has no cure.
Silicosis is caused when scar tissue forms decreasing the lungs ability to generate oxygen. Silicosis is applicable to multiple environments, including construction sites where drilling, shredding granite, concrete, sandstone, abrasive sand, etc. are present; and, of course, when cutting into or breaking up concrete.
When exposed to combustible dust, workers are more susceptible to nervous system, kidney, and blood damage. Combustible dust can be found in many places including food and grain manufacturing and storage facilities to name just a few.
Enviro-Vac is one of the oldest privately owned environmental contractors in Canada. They offer full suite of services in hazardous materials abatement and decontamination including shrink- wrap containments and are available to work both small and large-scale projects across Canada.
The head office is based in Surrey, BC. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about hazardous materials abatement, decontamination or shrink-wrap solutions, please call us on our toll-free number, (888) 296-2499.