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Combat the threat of silica: how wet sweeping can help safeguard industrial workspace

Silica and wet sweeping.

Conquest National Sales Manager, Chester Larsen, speaks to MHD about the dangers of silica and how the industrial cleaning equipment company can combat it with its wet sweeping solutions.

As attention on the perils posed by airborne dust intensifies, warehouse, manufacturing, construction and industrial facilities managers are grappling with how to mitigate the risks within their workplace, keep their workforce safe, and avoid penalties for non-compliance.

Adopting effective dust control measures not only ensures regulatory compliance, but also safeguards operational continuity.

Silica dust: the silent killer in industrial and construction work environments

Silica dust, composed of microscopic crystalline silicon dioxide particles, is found in many common building materials. One hundred times smaller than a grain of sand, silica dust easily becomes airborne through standard material handling and processing processes, including cutting, grinding, drilling, and handling diverse materials.

When inhaled, the small silica dust particles pose serious health risks to anyone exposed to the contaminated air. Under national WHS (workplace Health & Safety) laws, workers and management have obligations that relate to silica dust exposure. Failing to manage silica dust risks heavy fines and enforceable warnings, potentially leading to site closures. The most recent measure is the prohibition of engineered stone.

“It’s important to stay close to state-based workplace safety regulators,” says Conquest National Sales Manager, Chester Larsen. “These regulations are evolving as we collectively better understand the risks of silica dust, and they want to work with manufacturers, businesses, and construction companies to improve dust control practices.”

Dampening the threat: wet sweeping superior to dry solutions

Using water is the most effective way to dampen the threat of dust. Water weighs down dust particles, preventing them from becoming airborne, and more easily captured by dust control measures. This includes floor cleaning.

The true solution to combating industrial dust is wet sweeping, which state regulatory and SafeWork Australia, recommend. Unlike dry sweeping, wet sweeping does not rely on filtering airborne particles. Instead, through the application of water, it prevents particles from becoming airborne in the first place during both the sweeping and disposal process.

“The industry is shifting towards integrating water into processes to counteract dust,” says Chester.

“Conquest, with its innovative technology, strategic methodologies and unwavering commitment to health, safety and environment sustainability, is proud to work with our clients and the industry to provide the solutions to this need.”

Conquest heavy duty wet sweeping solutions

Conquest’s CC1200 combination sweeper scrubber uses water to minimise airborne dust during cleaning. Offering dual functionality, the CC1200 also translates to a 50 per cent labour saving and reduces operational costs, too.

The Conquest XR is a dedicated large capacity, ride-on scrubber that incorporates a light sweep functionality. Heavy duty and corrosion resistant, the XR is ideal for use in industrial work environments.

For more information about wet sweeping for dust control in your facility, call conquest on 1800 826 789 or download its Comprehensive Guide to Dust Control in Industrial Facilities.

For more information on Conquest Equipment, click here.

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