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Decrease multiple dust-related safety risks with vacuum-assisted power tools

Posted on December 2, 2010

In a recent blog post, G&S writes about concrete cutting and safety precautions. As they say, “cutting concrete may seem to be simple but on practical ground there are several safety measures to keep in mind to have a safe and successful concrete cutting or boring project.

Safety and concern becomes an issue with concrete cutting because the concrete dust generated by the cutting action contains high respirable crystalline silica content. Breathing in this dust can lead to the development of respiratory ill health affecting your lung tissue resulting in serious breathing difficulties, depending on the extent of exposure.

Therefore, dust control becomes an important consideration when cutting concrete either with a saw or a drill or core boring bit.”

118 concreteThe post goes on to discuss dust control methods, including local exhaust ventilation.  In this method, the hand-held power tool is equipped with a shroud, that is equipped to a hose connected to an industrial vacuum cleaner (got all that?). This mechanism pulls the dust from the source of the cutting and quickly sucks it into the vacuum before it can be dispersed in the air. At Nilfisk, our vacuums are often used in this type of application, both in and out of the concrete industry. For instance, a boat manufacturer in florida used our GM811 with a vacuum assisted sander while prepping a fiberglass boat frame.  By using our vacuums, the facility was able improve their air quality by nearly 95%! GM811 w sander

Temple Allen’s robotic sanding arm, the EMMA (see photo and description below) can also be equipped with our vacuum to automatically collect dust during surface prep applications in the aerospace and wind turbine industries.

By collecting dust at the source of sanding, sawing, grinding, blasting, etc., facilities not only dramatically improve  air quality, they can also eliminate other dust hazards like combustible dust risks and slip, trip and fall hazards (OSHA’s walking/working surfaces).

For more information on any of the above, you know where to find us!

Temple Allen’s EMMA is a user-controlled all-pneumatic arm that performs surface preparation 4-7 times faster than traditional sanding. Wielding one or two vacuum-assisted power tools at a time, and connected to a Nilfisk CFM vacuum, this next-generation system removes hazardous dust and debris on the spot, before it can disperse through the air.EMMA in use