JCW are a Floor Screeding installation company who use only pre mixed floor screed on our projects. This not only ensures the highest quality installation but protects our workers and other site operatives from dangerous exposure to cement dust.
We have decided to support the ‘Breathe Freely’ campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of preventable occupational diseases caused by site mixing screed and to highlight the respiratory problems cement dust exposure can cause.
According to The Electronic Library of Construction Safety and Health “Inhaling high levels of dust may occur when workers empty bags of cement. In the short term, such exposure irritates the nose and throat and causes choking and difficult breathing. Sanding, grinding, or breaking concrete can also release large amounts of dust containing high levels of crystalline silica. Prolonged or repeated exposure can lead to a disabling and often fatal lung disease called silicosis. Some studies also indicate a link between crystalline silica exposure and lung cancer.”
Further to this a recent report found that more than 7,000 occupational cancer deaths a year are caused by dust exposures in construction, this equates to 1 in 20 cancer deaths in the UK, not to mention other conditions such as asthma which can develop through cement dust inhalation.
Dave Stewart, Sales Director of Marshalls Premier Mortars and screeds commented “On a national basis, the overall cementitious screed market size is a minimum of 2 million tonnes per annum. We estimate that circa 50% of this is site batched/site mixed.”
These shocking statistics confirm our firm beliefs that action is required to reduce the frightening risks of contracting occupational lung disease and respiratory problems in the construction industry.
To put the amount of cement dust screeders are exposed to into perspective we can compare exposure to the bricklaying industry. Bricklayers are responsible for laying up to 2 ton of cement a day whereas screeders install 30 tons of screed a day. We feel similar action must be taken for floor screeders who are exposed to as much as 15 times more dust than their bricklaying counterparts.
It is surely now time for the industry to take action and consider banning the mixing of cement based screed on site, when viable ready mixed alternatives are available.
For more information about the floor screed JCW install please give us a call on 01204 387029