In many industries, hand-held machines and equipment are used to process mineral materials such as concrete or sand-lime brick. These activities may involve the release of mineral dust. As a result, employees are sometimes exposed to high dust loads.
However, machining systems have long been available on the market (machine and mobile dust collector) that reduce dust emissions. However, their actual effectiveness is so far little known in practice; reliable information is therefore urgently needed. In order to clarify the question of how effective the machining systems available on the market today are with regard to dust collection, a joint practice-oriented research project funded by the HVBG (ZVEI and employers' liability insurance associations) was carried out. Around 100 machining systems available on the market were examined.
As part of the research programme, the following low-dust machining systems were investigated with regard to their dust release under practical conditions. For each system, information on the measures against mineral dust was developed as an aid to risk assessment. Other criteria such as device vibrations, noise pollution, electrotechnical properties, e.g. the cable design, were not included in the assessment.
At the Bayerischen BauAkademie in Feuchtwangen, an institution of the Bavarian construction industry, the research work could be carried out under ideal conditions with the support of the ZVEI - Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e.V.
All machining systems were assigned to different "machine categories" such as cut-off grinders, wall groove milling machines, exenter grinders, plaster milling machines and examined within their group according to the same criteria.
As the investigations show, dust concentrations can be drastically reduced during the processing of mineral materials.
The results of the investigation can be found in the detailed final report Evaluation of dust emission.
For more information about low dust techniques, you can access the German-language pages here: