UK Construction Dust Partnership
German information system for hazardous substances of the construction employers liability insurance association (Dust)
German information system for hazardous substances of the construction employers liability insurance association (Systems)
European Network for Silica dust (NEPSI) good practice guides
Health & Safety
EPTA members place products on the market to work materials that can produce dust - wood, stone and concrete for example. EPTA members place great emphasis on developing products and systems that minimize the exposure of dust to the worker when properly used. Although dust exposure limits relate to the workplace, not to the power tool, some authorities require mandatory dust certification of power tools.
Workplace exposures are regulated by national laws for certain substances and by European directive 2004/37/EC on carcinogens and mutagens. The EU Commission proposes to introduce an amending directive for additional substances with binding occupational exposure limit values (OEL). This may include the proposal to add silica dust with a binding OEL at 0.1 mg/m³ 8 hour time weighted average (TWA) measured as respirable dust and change hard wood dust from 5 to 3 mg/m³ 8 hour TWA measured as inhalable dust.
There are no uniform dust emission limits in Europe. Neither is there a European test code for dust emission of power tools. So EPTA has initiated the preparation of test codes by CENELEC to measure the amount of dust emitted by power tools whilst conducting prescribed real life work processes. They will be integrated into the new EN 50632 standard for the measurement of dust emission.
EPTA members invest significant resources in ensuring that their products are safe. They design power tools that when properly used reduce the risk of a worker developing health problems. Dust extraction at the worksite requires the addition of an appropriate dust extractor and filtration, depending on the application, in conjunction with the power tool. In particular, the use of an "M" class dust extractor for wood and silica is required to reduce the effects of respirable and inhalable dust.
EPTA supports sensible exposure limits and promotes the use of harmonised systems in the workplace (tool and dust extraction), and EPTA will be promoting the use of test codes in all EU states to ensure that any dust measurements are conducted in a controlled and proven way to ensure consistency whilst ensuring workers health / exposure to silica dust is better managed.