Respiratory protection plays a key role in protecting yourself on a construction site. Workers often think that a dust mask is adequate protection, however, this is not always the case.
Silica dust is everywhere and it is extremely hazardous. It is important to remember that repeated exposures to silica add up to a total dose that can cause serious lung disease. The kinds of exposures we see in high exposure tasks, such as sandblasting and tuck-pointing, over time can give a worker enough exposure to put him or her at serious risk for a silica-related illness.
It is important to always protect yourself from airborne hazards by wearing a respirator with the correct filters. At Chandos, we ensure all our workers are offered fit testing when they are first hired and then every year after that; we also provide a respirator for them. Respiratory protection is not just for hazardous material workers, it’s for all construction workers and should be used when necessary.
You can clean the dust off your clothes and hands, but not your lungs.