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Dust Suppression Systems – Benefits And Applications

Air pollution has come under the spotlight this month after The Supreme Court ordered the Government to take action on air quality, after its failure to meet legal limits for air pollution.

The Government must submit new air quality plans to the European Commission no later than the end of this year.

While the case was brought in relation to the UK’s failure to comply with EU law for setting limits for NO2 pollution in areas across the UK, it demonstrates the importance of air quality in the political and social agenda.

Industrial and recreational sector-created dust emissions are among the many causes of air pollution.

As such, the benefits of efficient and effective Dust Suppression Systems are proven and manifold.

Unquestionably, the primary benefit is the vital role they play in meeting safety, health and environmental legislation requirements.

Systems not only reduce the impact of air pollution caused by airborne dust – including coal, sand, gravel, stone and that generated through processing industrial and domestic waste – they help safeguard the health of employees and those living in the local community.

Dust Suppression Systems can protect from harmful respiratory diseases, as well as skin and eye irritations, significantly reduce the risk of fire and dust explosions and increase workplace visibility.

Creating a healthier working environment has the added advantage of helping to boost employee morale and productivity.

Working within their various applications, a well-designed Dust Suppression Systems can also:

• Prevent unpleasant odours

• Save money by reducing site maintenance, clean-up costs and equipment wear

• Establish and maintain good community relations

With more than 40 years’ experience, Maddison Water Technology supplies individually-designed Dust Suppression Systems, based around our own successful system, to meet our clients’ specific requirements.

There is a multitude of applications, within both the industrial and recreational sectors, and typical examples include:

Quarries

Dust control for quarry operators remains an important issue, with many opportunities for airborne dust during the blasting, crushing, screening and transportation processes.

Legislation and local planning regulations require dust suppression for the benefit of workers and those living in the local community.

Coal Yards and Dust Mounds

Suppressing coal dust emissions is vital to worker safety due to the possibility of coal dust explosions and also reduces the cost of maintaining material handling equipment.

While clouds of fugitive coal dust, whipped up by the wind during loading and unloading shipments, may not exceed air quality standards they can create a nuisance for nearby businesses and residents.

Emissions from dust mounds are equally detrimental.

Haul Roads

A dust-free haul road results in increased workplace safety, including better driver visibility, and is a money-saving initiative as it extends the life of vehicle tyres.

Domestic and Industrial Waste and Recycling Centres

Any industry processing waste materials and handling fine organic dusts are at significant risk from fire or explosion.

Nuisance dust also creates an unpleasant working environment and health hazard for employees alongside housekeeping issues.

Construction and Demolition Sites

Dust pollution from demolition and construction sites can impact on the health and quality of life of builders and contractors as well as residents living nearby.

Horse Riding Arenas, Riding Schools and Stables

Dust particles emitted in indoor and outdoor arenas, manèges, pens, walkers and stables can enter the respiratory system of not only the animals but their human trainers, riders and instructors.

These same issues affect greyhound racing track dogs and workers.

Dust Suppression Systems

When managing the conditions within any commercial or public environment, particularly a dry area where there is a lot of dust being accumulated or generated; adopting an appropriate dust suppression method is critical to the safe operation of the site. In many circumstances this is also a very important factor in the site meeting the associated health and safety standards that are relevant to its operation. There are a number of dust suppression or misting systems available in the marketplace that can manage this issue – depending on the nature of the requirement, the type of dust that needs to be controlled and the environment itself.

Construction Sites

On large construction sites, such as road building or new build housing projects, it is important to be able to control the spread of dust due to the activity of vehicles or people moving around the site. Dust can also be spread by the wind, other weather conditions or a wide variety of external influences. There are a number of dust control systems that have been developed to manage, or reduce, the movement of dust in these circumstances. Most of these involve the use of rain, or super-fine mist simulation systems such as rainguns.

Dust mounds or stockpiles of coal are often present on construction sites and this can become a serious environmental issue for those who work on the site and in nearby communities. In order to meet its health and safety obligations a company will need to control the potential dispersion of dust from these features. Dust suppression systems are available that are designed specifically to fulfil the task of managing dust mounds.

Sports and leisure industry sites

Where there are outdoor arenas being used for public activities such as equestrian shows and events, festivals or other large gatherings of people in one location, there are potential dust issues. Having the right dust suppression systems in place to control the environment is essential to keeping those attending these events safe, both legally and environmentally. The organisers of these activities are usually the ones responsible for health and safety and it is down to them to find the most suitable solution.

Depending on the type of gathering, the flow of people, the weather conditions, the environment itself, and the amount of dust that is present, there are a number of bespoke systems available. These can include a mixture of both perimeter and mobile equipment which would need to be designed and configured in the most efficient and effective way for each particular set of circumstances.

The primary objective is to keep the dust on the ground as much as possible and the best way to achieve this is by keeping it damp. Once the dust has become airborne it becomes a far more difficult element to control or suppress. It can then represent a potential health hazard to both the people working on the site or to those living and working close by. Having designed the solution, equipment is set up to contain or suppress the movement of dust around a site. This includes activities such as: spraying the wheels of passing vehicles with water and spraying the surface where the dust itself lies with super-fine mist.