Silicosis is a silent killer, savagely sadistic in its slowness.
Characterised by acute coughing, weight loss, fatigue and debilitating dyspnea, this irreversible disease scars the lungs, starving its victims of life.
Once considered a thing of the past, and usually associated with mining, this disabling, often fatal, lung disease is making a most unwelcome comeback – in the masonry industry – and sadly the suffering is completely preventable.
The construction industry has become a dirty business; modern high-powered cutting equipment, used on brick and concrete products, creates billowing clouds of dust and dirt that encompasses workers and even passive passers-by – and this dust can be a killer, literally.
Masonry products such as brick, concrete and stone contain silica. Cutting these materials releases this silica in the form of a fine dust, known as respirable crystalline silica. One hundred times smaller than a grain of sand, the extremely destructive particles can be inhaled deep into the lungs without workers being aware of it, potentially causing silicosis, lung cancer, kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Health professionals have become alarmed at the rise in the number of silicosis cases1. It is estimated that each year over half a million Australian workers are exposed to silicia dust at work. According to the Cancer Council, each year over 230 people develop lung cancer due to past exposure to silica dust at work 2. Making the tragedy even greater is the fact that this alarming issue is avoidable.
Determined that no Aussie brickie will damage their health needlessly, progressive Australian Brick distributor, MD Brick, is waging a war on silica dust in the masonry industry. The sole distributor of the iQ360XR™, a dustless brick saw developed by third generation masons, when it comes to combating dust, this tool is the brickies’ equivalent of an armored tank.
MD Brick Managing Director, Martin Driene, says
“The iQ360XR™ is a war winning weapon. Protective equipment relies on compliance by workers, enforcement by employers and effective fit. The iQ360XR™ is a 14" masonry saw with a fully-integrated dust collection system which has been tested to capture 99.5% of the dust at the source without using water. This is 100% dry cutting, right where you work – it’s so powerful and effective it makes safety sexy”. The saw can be used for brick, stone, pavers & tile, giving it wide application for a number of trades. As for durability, Martin says it’s “as tough as any Aussie tradie I know”.
Given employers duty of care to provide a safe work place under WHS regulations, the iQ360XR™ could help to avoid fines of up to $6,000 for individuals or $30,000 in the case of a body corporate – and the risk of potential lawsuits.
When it comes to masonry work the answer is clean cut - solve a dirty problem with the iQ360XR™ - and breathe easy.
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