Knauf and the HSE Dustbusters
Respiratory illness is just one of the health hazards potentially facing construction workers. Knauf is highlighting the month-long “Dustbuster” inspection initiative focusing on the issue being run by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and is recommending its customers look at the lower-dust products it offers.
Many common construction tasks can create high dust levels and exposure to dust in excessive amounts can lead to respiratory problems meaning construction workers can be particularly at risk. HSE’s construction initiative is supported by its ‘Dustbuster’ campaign designed to influence employer behaviour by increasing knowledge to protect workers’ health.
HSE’s chief inspector of construction, Sarah Jardine says, “There are a few simple things that everyone can do to make sure they are protecting their health and their future. Be aware of the risks associated with activities you do every day, recognise the dangers of hazardous dust and consider how it can affect your health. We want businesses and their workers to think of the job from start to finish and avoid creating dust by working in different ways to keep dust down.”
Knauf offers a number of practical training courses at its CITB-approved training centres on the design and construction of drywall, flooring and ceiling systems. These courses include instruction on the correct use of protective equipment and on wearing the right protective gear while using Knauf products.
Knauf also provides a range of products to help contractors reduce the amount of dust created on site.
Its Airless Ready-Mixed Spray Finishes range is sprayed directly onto wall and ceiling surfaces. This alternative to traditional gypsum plaster eliminates the need for mixing as the product comes pre-mixed. With no gypsum and with levels of Silica well below HSE requirements, this option provides a much cleaner and healthier environment for site workers as well as quicker clean up and less waste.
An additional health benefit is that Knauf Airless gives a flawless finish in a fraction of the time needed for traditional plastering, while the spray application also significantly reduces wear and tear on arms and backs.
Knauf also offers powder free ready-mixed jointing and bedding compounds, Fill & Finish and Fill & Finish Light, which can be machine or hand applied. Being ready to apply they save time on the mixing on site as well as eliminating dust in the preparation phase of a project.
Another popular Knauf product designed to reduce dust, as well as time, is the Knauf Deflection Head Fire Seal used in the installation of drywall partition systems. An alternative to the traditional plasterboard fillet deflection head, this elastic polyurethane foam with intumescent firestop additives provides an effective fire and acoustic barrier. It is designed to provide up to 25mm downward deflection capability of + or – 12.5mm deflection capability.
Unlike with traditional methods, the Deflection Head Fire Seal from Knauf can be cut to size without creating dust. It is a lightweight easy-to-handle product that enables deflection head details to be completed quickly with just one person – an additional benefit for contractors while social distance restrictions are in force during the pandemic.
While the main focus for HSE inspectors will be on respiratory risks, they will also be checking that workplaces are COVID secure and businesses are doing all they can to protect their workers from the risk of coronavirus.
As a market leader, Knauf recognises the importance of developing innovative products and systems that contribute to a cleaner, safer environment for construction workers.