Health & Safety Regulations
Dust control regulations for the tunnelling industry are becoming increasingly stringent due to the rising number of silicosis cases being reported across the globe.
Silicosis is an incurable lung disease caused by exposure to harmful silica dust which is found in almost every type of natural rock, sand, clay and gravel. When silica dust becomes airborne it can be inhaled causing serious disease along with other workplace safety risks such as; slips and falls in areas of poor visibility. Dust can also affect the operation of machinery by settling on engine components increasing wear and causing unscheduled and costly maintenance shutdowns.
Airborne dust particles also contaminate our sensitive ecosystems, in particular our rivers, dams and waterways negatively impacting on water quality, reducing crops in agriculture by burying seeds, causing loss of plant tissue, reducing photosynthetic activity and increasing soil erosion, and if that isn’t enough it can also play a role in the transmission of diseases.