Dust extraction: The risks of dust and how to prevent them

Author Greg.Reygate Calendar 25 May 2023
Dust Kills Blog Header

Dust Extraction: The Risks of Dust and How to Prevent Them


Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) have commenced their ‘Dusk Kills’ campaign to educate workers on the control measures required to prevent exposure to dust. In addition to this, they’ll be conducting nationwide construction site inspections throughout May, June and July 2023. Starting on Monday, 15 May 2023, the inspections, part of a respiratory health intervention initiative, will specifically focus on dust control, checking employers and workers know the risks, plan their work, and are using the right controls.

Over 12,000 workers die every year from work-related lung disease. Because of this, in recent years dust extraction and suppression have become important issues on site. Understanding the risks involved and how to avoid exposure to dangerous dust particles are crucial to keeping everyone safe.

What dust types are there?


There are three different types of dust you might encounter on a construction site.

  • Silica dust – from working on materials like concrete, mortar and sandstone
  • Wood dust – from working on softwood, hardwood and wood-based products like MDF and plywood
  • Lower toxicity dusts – from working on materials like plasterboard, limestone, marble and dolomite


What are the different dust classes?


There are three different classes of dust. Each one requires a specific requirement to be safely removed from the workplace but, more importantly, from our lungs. These three classes are categorised as the following:

  • Low Risk (L-Class)
    This type of dust presents a moderate risk to any operator and is commonly associated with materials such as Corian and softwoods. The exposure limit for L-Class dust is >1mg/㎥ which requires a dust extractor that captures 99% of the dust with a grain size under two microns.
  • Medium Risk (M-Class)
    M Class is the minimal legal requirement, set by the HSE, and most sites will use this classification of dust extractors. Medium risk dust is associated with a wider range of materials including wood dust, dust from repair compounds, filler and clear coats, cement, concrete and tile cement dust. This type of dust presents a medium risk to any operator as the exposure limit for M-Class is > 0.1mg/㎥ and requires a dust extractor that catches 99.9% of the dust with a grain size under two microns.
  • High Risk (H-Class)
    H Class dust extractors include all the features you find with M Class units, but with greater suction and filtration figures. High risk dust includes any dust containing carcinogenic or pathogenic particles, as well as any mould spores, asbestos, mineral fibres, bitumen, and artificial mineral fibres such as glass wool. This type of dust presents a high risk to any operator as the exposure limit for H-Class dust is >0.1mg/㎥ and requires a dust extractor that catches 99.995% of the dust with a grain size under one micron.


What are the dangers of dust?


It’s important to understand the dangers of breathing in these dusts. Dust can do a lot of damage but the main dust-related diseases that tend to affect construction workers are:

  • Lung cancer
  • Silicosis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Asthma

One of the main things to be aware of is that it only takes a small amount of daily exposure to cause significant health risks. Many everyday, common construction tasks can create a lot of dust and the effects of inhaling it might not be apparent for some time.

How do I reduce dust on site?


The best way to reduce dust and the amount workers are exposed to are:

  • Reduce or stop the dust – for example by making sure you’re using the right size of materials so to reduce the cutting required, or by using less powerful tools
  • Control the dust – using wet cutters or tools with dust extraction or suppression functions
  • Respiratory protective equipment (RPE)

It’s important to note that wearing RPE alone is usually not enough. You should try to reduce or control the dust as well as providing workers with adequate RPE.

Here at The Hireman many of our tools come with integrated dust reduction or removal features, while others can be hired with dust attachments. You can see which of our cutters and grinders have dust extraction options available right here. You can also flick through our catalogue where any tool with dust extraction features is highlighted with a dust icon.

To coincide with the Go Home Healthy campaign, we’re going to be going into more detail about some of our most popular tools with dust extraction features as well as the RPE we can provide, like masks and respirators. We’ll also look at how we’ve improved our own dust prevention practices. Look out for more in the weeks ahead!


Popular tools with dust extraction features


Air Cube Cleaner, H-Class, 1000 m3/h, 110V


Circulates air through a highly efficient multi-storage H-class filter system and separates dust down to 0.3 microns such as quartz dust found in concrete, brick, grout and mortar. Removing the hazardous airborne dust and particles that are harmful to our health.

Hire yours now


Hilti VC 40M-X (16A), M-Class Dust Extraction Unit, 110V


Our M-Class Filtered extraction unit, with an automatic self-cleaning filter and a design suitable for attachment to a wide range of construction equipment.

Hire yours now


Bridge/Slab Saw, 1000mm, 110V


Accurately cut large materials with our rail-tilting overhead bridge saw. With a Max cutting length of 1000mm and width of 110mm. Suitable for natural stone, concrete slabs, ceramic tiles and masonry block.

Hire yours now


If you're interested in setting up an account, all you need to do is pop an email over to [email protected] and we'll do the rest!

We have moved

Author Greg.Reygate Calendar 10 December 2019


We Have Moved: Discover Our New Super Depot

Back in 2017, while planning our fourth depot, in Croydon, we became aware of Southwark Council’s Old Kent Road regeneration strategy and the inclusion of our central London depot within the redevelopment zone.

While the intended investment in the area was very welcome, it quickly became clear that industrial premises like ours would make way for new homes, offices and retail space, and if owner occupiers didn’t engage with developers their land would be subject to compulsory purchase orders. We knew that the time had come to start searching for a new flagship depot.

We moved into Old Kent Road in 2007, from our original location in Black Swan Yard, Bermondsey Street. Over the years we have refitted and adapted the depot to improve the operation and extend the services we offer. As well as being the cornerstone of our same-day service into central London and beyond, it also became our PASMA training centre

Our depot locations, serving London and the Home Counties

So, with this and expansion in mind, we decided to search for something much bigger. As anyone who’s tried this knows, finding industrial premises with large yard space, a short distance from central London, is no mean feat! And then we found two buildings set on a half-acre plot in E16, situated between the A13 and A12, just a 20-minute drive from the City of London. Also being a 20-minute drive from our existing east London depot in Leytonstone, we decided to merge our two teams into one ‘super depot,’ serving the City, east and north London, Essex and Hertfordshire.

This was not an easy decision, but after careful analysis of our service, we were confident that our South and West depots could comfortably cover the rest of London and the Home Counties. Our new South depot, which opened in Croydon in 2018, covers south-west and south-east London, Surrey, Kent and Sussex, while our long-established West depot, in Wembley, looks after west and north-west London, Middlesex, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. We believe our service has never been better and crucially we’ve secured our future, building on our 35-year history of going out of our way to help our customers.

That personal touch is a crucial part of our service and we look forward to bringing it to even more sites than ever before.

Our new Super Depot address is:

City Depot
Black Swan House
Unit 5b, North Crescent
E16 4TG

T  020 7232 5630  E [email protected]

If you're interested in setting up an account, all you need to do is pop an email over to [email protected] and we'll do the rest!

Get same day delivery and track your tool hire with The Hireman

Author Greg.Reygate Calendar 3 December 2018
The Hireman delivery van

Get Same Day Delivery and Track Your Tool Hire with The Hireman


On a construction job and held up waiting for your equipment to arrive? We know there’s nothing worse than hanging around on site, which is why The Hireman offers a rapid delivery service. We can often get tools and equipment out to you on the same day, or if not we’ll ensure it makes it’s way to you next day. And we deliver on Saturday’s too, just get your order in before 5pm on a Friday afternoon and we’ll arrange a Saturday morning delivery.

Whether you’re based in London or anywhere across the Home Counties, we can deliver tools to you. Our vans can get out to sites in London and beyond multiple times per day. And thanks to our new south depot, our delivery area now stretches as far out as Brighton and the coastal towns.


Track your delivery

ToolTrak is our driver tracking service. With ToolTrak you can always know where your order is and when it’s going to arrive. It’s completely free and there’s no download required.

Once you’ve placed an order, our tracking system will send a text message to any nominated site contact giving an ETA and a link to a map to follow the driver’s progress.




The best way to benefit from our delivery options and driver tracking is to set up a Hireman account. Alongside those, with an account you’ll also get:

  • A bespoke pricing agreement
  • Online account management tools, including all paperwork at the touch of a button and a complete hire history
  • Plant lists, on-hire and off-hire notifications emailed to you every week

If you’re interested in setting up an account, all you need to do is pop an email over to:

[email protected]

And we’ll do the rest!

Finding your nearest depot

The Hireman has four depots across London. We want to make sure you get the best one for where you’re based. Using this postcode map you can see which of our depots is best suited to your site. For sites outside London, the inset map shows which depot deals with each county.

Once you’ve picked your perfect depot, contact them here.


The Hireman Delivery Service Area

Our depots cover a wide area outside London. We deliver to towns as far afield as Cambridge, Southend, Brighton, Oxford and Milton Keynes. Even if your site is further out than that we might be able to help, just get in touch and we’ll see what we can do!

If you're interested in setting up an account, all you need to do is pop an email over to [email protected] and we'll do the rest!

Dust extraction features Guide: Using hoods and water to suppress dust

Author Greg.Reygate Calendar 16 October 2018
husqvarna air cube cleaner

Dust Extraction Features Guide: Using Hoods and Water to Suppress Dust

With the Go Home Healthy campaign in full swing, we thought we’d look at some of our most popular tools that come with dust extraction features. Our angle grinders in particular offer a variety of different extraction options, from in-built suppression to external dust extraction units. We’re going to take a quick look at a few different types of dust suppression and pick out our most popular tools for each.

Dust Extraction Hoods with Extraction Units

A great way to reduce and contain dust is to use an extraction hood. The hood usually then connects to an external dust extraction unit or vacuum.

Our Hilti 230mm grinder is extremely popular and is available with a dust extraction hood. When connected to an extraction unit these drastically cut down on airborne particles and make the operation virtually dustless. This method hits dust at source and prevents it from getting out into the workplace rather than just suppressing it. It’s a great way of keeping workers safe.

We also have other dust extraction units available, including an air cube cleaner for filtering out harmful particles throughout an entire work area, or a dust extractor which comes with powerful H-class filtering system and can be attached to a range of different tools.

air cube cleaner dust extractor

Wet Dust Suppression

Another way to suppress dust is by using water during cutting. Spraying water helps prevent the dust becoming airborne in the first place and allows fewer harmful particles into the atmosphere. This, in turn, means fewer particles breathed in by workers operating in that area.

Our  Husqvarna disc cutter has both wet and dry cutting ability, with either a dust extraction attachment available or a water connection which can be attached to a supply unit and used to suppress dust. The Husqvarna cutter is great for cutting into concrete, stone and asphalt. The cut-off saw staple on our fleet is the Stihl cut-off saw, which comes with an integrated water connection. The Stihl saw also cuts into metal, tiles or bricks as well as concrete, stone and asphalt.

cut-off saw

Every tool in our range that has dust extraction features available will be flagged with a dust symbol online and in the catalogue. You can also filter products by dust features on the website. You can find all our dust and fume extractors here.

If you're interested in setting up an account, all you need to do is pop an email over to [email protected] and we'll do the rest!

tool hire catalogue 2018/19

Author Greg.Reygate Calendar 6 September 2018
The Hireman tool hire catalogue

The Hireman’s 2018/19 tool hire catalogue

This new catalogue is a comprehensive guide to our tools and equipment, packed full of up to date information on our products and the services we offer. We hope you’ll come to view it as a valuable resource for all your tool hire needs.

the hireman tool hire catalogue

What’s inside?

The new catalogue reflects how our range of equipment and services has grown in response to your feedback. The 2018/19 catalogue has a particular focus on safety at height, dust extraction/suppression and low vibration. All of these areas have become much more of a priority on site and we want it to be your first port of call for all the most important information. And remember, if there’s something you can’t find we’re always happy to order in new products or cross-hire them to make sure you get the tools you need.

Inside the catalogue you’ll find technical specifications for all your favourite tools, including noise and vibration levels so you stay safe. You’ll be able to see at a glance which tools are ideal for reducing dust or include a dust attachment, as well as which of our training courses apply to each tool. Remember, we can provide PASMA training for when you need to work at height, or abrasive wheel training to make sure your workforce can handle those sharp edges!

What’s more, we’ve made sure to flag up any sales products you might need, like batteries, blades or fuel. We’ve even tagged a few of our most popular tools with a green tick.

At the back of the catalogue you’ll find a handy page with contact details for all four of our depots as well as a map to help you find the right one for your site.

If you're interested in setting up an account, all you need to do is pop an email over to [email protected] and we'll do the rest!

DIY SOS: The Big Build

Author Greg.Reygate Calendar 8 March 2018

The Hireman donated a range of site equipment to the DIY SOS The Big Build team to help with the rebuild of PC Kris Aves’s home in Barnet. The show aired on Wednesday 7th March, and if you saw it you’ll know Kris’s story. Kris was returning from a ceremony where he had been awarded for his work as a police liaison officer with the Metropolitan Police when he was caught up in the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack. He was left with serious injuries after being run over by the terrorist’s car while crossing the bridge.



Kris was unable to return home for months after the attack. With a house completely unsuited to his new needs he was stuck in hospital. Narrow corridors, no downstairs toilet and a  front door were just some of the issues facing the DIY SOS team when they arrived to refurbish the property.

Hundreds of volunteers were involved in this project, so many wanted to help that they actually had to turn people away! This is the second time we have donated equipment to a DIY SOS The Big Build project. This time we provided a wider range of kit, including; wheelbarrows, steps, heaters and lights, which we were only too happy to offer. It was a huge honour to be just a small part of this effort.

The Big Reveal

We gathered alongside the many other people who had helped out with the build for the Big Reveal. Predictably, it was a grey English morning but the weather wasn’t enough to dampen anyone’s spirits. It was lovely to see the whole community come together in support of Kris and this really came through in the show. Kris’s positivity really shone throughout the programme too, despite all that’s happened to him. People came from all over to help out, memorably for us a local baker turned up unprompted with an enormous cake to celebrate the occasion. It was also inspiring to see how many members of the Met Police had volunteered their time to be there and help.


It took 10 days hard work from a whole range of tradesmen to transform the house. The finishing touches were put on minutes before the Big Reveal as we all trekked up to see the house. After the final bits of filming both Kris and Nick gave moving speeches thanking everyone, and Nick emphasised how this sort of community effort shows what we can achieve when we all work together.

If you're interested in setting up an account, all you need to do is pop an email over to [email protected] and we'll do the rest!

Gas heaters

Author Greg.Reygate Calendar 12 January 2018
Propane Space Heater

Over the winter months we’ve experienced increased customer demand for our heaters. The Hireman have a number of heating options, but in particular we want to show off our gas heaters, which are great for large spaces or building sites. We also sell butane and propane gas to power them, as well as a newly added crane gas bottle cage which makes it much easier to move cannisters about on site.

Propane Gas Heater
150,000 or 250,000 BTU

Key features include:

  • Fan-assisted
  • Ideal for: well-ventilated commercial premises, building sites
  • Variable heat control
  • Robust housing and a carry handle for transportation

Cabinet Heater


Powered by butane gas, the cabinet heater heats smaller ventilated areas such as halls or small warehouses.

Key features include:

  • Heat air and produce radiant heat with the ceramic plaque tile
  • High performance burner
  • 3-level heat setting

Electric Heaters

As well as our gas heaters we have a range of electric heaters suited to smaller offices or rooms.

Find the range online by clicking here

If you're interested in setting up an account, all you need to do is pop an email over to [email protected] and we'll do the rest!

Cleaning and extraction hire tools

Author Greg.Reygate Calendar 10 April 2017
bowser pressure washer for hire

Now that the clocks have gone forward and spring is with us, it’s time to start thinking about your spring cleaning. Whether it’s your home, office or work site that needs sprucing up we can help.

We have a range of pressure washers available, including the powerful, 940L Bowser Washer which is a reliable, robust means of washing down and cleaning site equipment.

bowser pressure washer for hire
The Bowser pressure washer

Also available is floor care equipment like a dual action floor scrubber/polisher, which allows you to scrub floors, remove staining and then polish to a high finish with a selection of brushes and pads.

Or finally there’s vacuum cleaners like trusty Henry to quickly and easily tidy up your home, office or work site.

If you're interested in setting up an account, all you need to do is pop an email over to [email protected] and we'll do the rest!