Dec 30 , 2020
Learn how to keep yourself safe before drilling in masonry.
While the installation of masonry is extremely popular in commercial and private properties and on roadways, drilling in masonry can have serious health hazards if the proper protection devices are not utilized during the construction project.
Therefore, to ensure that our clients are taking all the necessary protective measures before tackling a project around their home that involves any form of drilling in masonry, we have put together a comprehensive list of safety tips you should be aware of before moving forward with your construction plans.
Masonry Dust Hazards
Contrary to popular belief, masonry dust has the potential to cause harm to three significant areas of the body, including your eyes, skin, and lungs. Therefore, it is vital to have the correct personal protection devices with you at all times so you can safely perform your task without risking your health. Let's take a look at the three vulnerable areas of your body and go through the protective gear you will need before you start drilling in masonry.
Protection of Your Eyes
As you probably already know, when drilling in masonry, you can expect there to be all kinds of corrosive dust build-up on the immediate surroundings as a direct result of the drilling itself. Therefore, in order to protect your eyes from the dust and potential chips of masonry, it is imperative to wear the correct eyewear at all times to avoid any damage and discomfort to your eyes.
We suggest wearing protective goggles instead of protective glasses to ensure that the dust is fully obstructed from reaching your eye at all times. It is also essential to make sure that you clean your protective goggles before using them a second time to ensure there is no leftover debris or dust from the previous use.
Protection of Your Skin
If you've ever experienced drilling in masonry before, you will know that the dust tends to cause reactions such as rashes on the skin –even more so if you have an allergy to concrete or other stones, you aren't previously aware of. To lower the risk of getting the dust on your skin, you should make it a priority to wear long sleeves, pants, and gloves to avoid any of the dust coming into direct contact with your skin.
You should also ensure to cover up any previous wounds such as cuts or scrapes. Hence, you avoid the risk of dust contaminating the affected area on your skin as well. Lastly, in terms of skin protection, it is always important to take a thorough shower to rinse off any dust from your skin and do a load of laundry to clean your clothes from any debris before wearing them again.
Protection of Your Ears
Drilling through any sort of durable surface such as concrete is bound to cause an extremely loud noise that can damage your hearing and cause hearing loss if the right protection is not used. Therefore, we suggest that all of our clients invest into hearing protection to limit your exposure to all loud noises while you are working on your project.
Protection of Your Lungs
When it comes to protecting your lungs, a disposable dust mask is the most important personal protection devices you can wear. If you didn't already know, concrete dust particles contain what is known as silica. Silica or silicon dioxide is a common mineral compound found in the natural environment and concrete, granite, soil, rock, sand, and much more.
Therefore, when individuals breathe in even the smallest amounts of silica, they experience side effects such as irritation in their nose, mouth, and throat, which can cause them to experience difficulty breathing. Whether you're inhaling small amounts over many years or inhale a large amount all at once, you are at risk of developing silicosis, which is a disease that can cause scarring in your lungs, which can cause you to live a severely shortened life.
Hence, it is vital to wear disposable dust masks such as an N95 mask when working in an affected area to prevent the cause of irritation and lung disease.
Other Personal Protection Devices
In addition to the personal protection methods mentioned above, another tip to further protect you while you are drilling through masonry is to attach a dust extraction kit to your drill. Dust extraction kits are designed to fit onto your drill to remove any dust that has been created in real-time instead of having the dust expand into your surroundings.
We also suggest purchasing a shop vacuum to clean up your project station as frequently as possible to avoid contamination from the dust during your construction task and afterward for extra protection. Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry in these situations to prevent any irritation and future health issues down the road.
Our Final Thoughts
As you can see, there are many dangerous side effects of exposing yourself to masonry dust. Therefore, whether you are working at a commercial job site or around your home, it is crucial to keep yourself protected at all times to ensure you do not suffer from any immediate injuries, irritations, and future health consequences of masonry dust and debris. By following our personal protection device recommendations above, you can ensure that your next home improvement project gets completed without exposing yourself to the harmful dust and debris.
Luckily, all the items on the list that we have recommended are readily available to the consumers and are relatively cost-effective at the end of the day. Therefore, you should have no problems ensuring that you are well-equipped with the proper safety gear before tackling any drilling masonry project in the future.