The season of dust is nearly upon us

Date: 10/06/22
The season of dust is nearly upon us

As the summer season approaches sites are once again pondering the issue of dust and how to keep colleagues safe. Earlier this month the HSE shared similar concerns by announcing a series of nationwide visits to ensure that employers are taking appropriate measures to keep dust under control. 

The reason, of course, is silicosis, a particularly nasty predicament that restricts breathing, reduces a person’s capacity for any form of physical exercise and in severe cases, results in a shortened lifespan.

Plant operators can limit their exposure to dust by ensuring that cab doors and windows are closed at all times and their air conditioning is switched on. 

Therein lies the problem. 

The additional capital investment required for air conditioning deters many plant providers because it reduces their returns. So, if you’re expecting air conditioning you should expect to pay a little extra, regardless of the plant provider you use.  In the grand scheme of things the additional cost is small in comparison to overall plant costs and it’s a small price to pay for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of operators.

Remember that in the absence of air-conditioning a cab acts like a greenhouse where temperatures can exceed 45 degrees Celsius. In the summertime social media sites are awash with complaints from operators who are being made to suffer extreme temperatures because their employer preferred to buy cheap. As well as being detrimental to health this is hardly likely to boost productivity.

The majority of our cabbed fleet is fitted with air-conditioning so if customers are hiring from Ardent they can relax in the knowledge that we have them covered. We also fit belly plates to our telehandlers which reduces dust ingress and offers protection to the engine from posts, rails and other protruding objects in the ground that could potentially cause costly damage.

So, as the summer season approaches, insist that operators keep doors and windows closed on their plant at all times. And insist on air-conditioning.


Jeremy Fish

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