How To Meet Legal Requirements for Dust Extraction

Why is Construction Dust such an Issue?

Construction dust is a term generally used to describe the various dusts released around a work site when processing certain materials.  Breathing in particles of silica dust (masonry or concrete) can cause significant harm when inhaled, including long-term health issues such as Asthma, COPD and even forms of Cancer.

The HSE (Health & Safety Executive) estimate that there are over 500 deaths per year due to dust inhalation within the construction industry. Silicosis, caused by Silica dust is the second biggest killer to asbestosis in the industry.

What are the common dust types created on site?

In terms of health, there are two categories in which the various dust types can be placed into. These are;

Inhalable dust

Which refers to airborne particles that are breathed into the airways and then deposited in the respiratory tract.

and Respirable Dust.

Which refers to finer dust particles that penetrate deep into the lungs.


The key dust types that are created on site when processing materials include:

Silica Dust 

Created when working with Concrete, Clays, Masonry, Mortar and Sandstone.

Non-silica Dust

Created when working with Gypsum, Limestone and Marble.

Wood Dust

Created when working on materials such as Hard Woods (Ash, Beech, chestnut), Soft Woods (Cedar, Fir, Pine), MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) and Engineered Board (Plywood and Chipboard).


How can dust extractors help and what do the classes mean?

With such high figures of harm based around dust within construction, it is no surprise that companies such as Bosch and Makita have created dust extractors to help reduce the affects of these particles.

On many of these extractors there are Grades of dust extraction which may appear confusing at first but they are all relatively simple to understand. The three main grades are “L” (Low), “M” (Medium) and “H” (High).



L-Class extractors are regarded as ‘entry-level’ with M-Class being the next step up. H-Class extractors are specifically designed for environments with highly carcinogenic dusts.

You can broadly separate them in terms of application, as follows:

L Class – for soft woods and solid surface material such as Corian.

M Class – for hard woods, board materials, concrete and brick dust.

H Class – for protection against carcinogenic dusts, such as lead, carbon, tar, nickel, cobalt, copper and cadmium.

It is important to note that M-Class Extractors are now the minimum legal requirement when working with;

Brick, Masonry, Tile, Concrete, Timber, MDF, Gravel, Plastic composites, Flint, Quartz, and Liquid materials containing sand.

For further information please visit the HSE website.

Which dust extractors are available at Toolfix?

Here at Toolfix we have a range of Dust Extractors from top brands including the Makita Wet & Dry 42L Class “M” Dust Extractor.

We’re here to help…

As always, we are here to help, not just fulfil orders.

Discover and shop our range online at, or if you’d prefer to speak directly with our knowledgeable sales team, please get in touch on 01733 347348.

Fire Door 5-Step Check – #FireDoorSafetyWeek

5 Step Check – Fire Door Safety Week

Use These 5 Simple Steps To Check The Safety Of Your Fire Door

As we commence #FireDoorSafetyWeek (24th September – 1st October), the BWF Fire Door Alliance has released a simple 5 Step Check in which you can use to see if your fire doors meet safety regulations.

In this post we will outline the 5 steps and cover why each one is an important indicator as to whether or not your fire door is truly safe.  We will also highlight a few products from our extensive range of hardware & ironmongery that can be used to replace faulty or low quality components (e.g. hinges and intumescent seals).

The Fire Door 5-Step-Check


1. Check For Certification

Every fire door must have a label or a plug to prove that it is a properly certified fire door, and reaches the standards required to protect the building, and more importantly, the staff. If this certificate is missing, report to whoever is in charge of the building, or the fire door supplier for more information.


2. Check The Gaps

Check the gaps around the top and sides of the door are consistently less than 4mm when closed. The gap under the door can be slightly larger (up to 8mm usually), but it does depend on the door. If you can see light under the door, the gap is likely to be too big meaning smoke and flames could potentially pass through the gaps.


3. Check The Seals

It is vital to check if there are any intumescent seals around the door or frame, and if so are they intact with no sign of damage? These seals are usually vital to the fire door’s performance, expanding if in contact with heat to ensure fire and smoke isn’t able to move through the cracks. If there is any visible issues with the seals on the door report it – the door may not be properly maintained and in the intensity of a fire may not protect for a sufficient amount of time.


4. Check The Hinges

There should always be at least three hinges on a fire door. Check the hinges to make sure that they are properly secured to the door, and that all the screws are present. Missing or badly fitted hinges could affect the performance of your fire door, and give less time for staff to evacuate the building.

If you see any problems report it – the door may not be properly maintained and in the intensity of a fire may not perform and hold back the fire as required to.


5. Check The Door Closes Properly

Check how the door closes to ensure that it works properly. If a high quality fire door is opened and let go, it should automatically close by itself by use of a door closer, without anyone needing to push it closed.

Make sure that the door properly latches, and that the door fits properly in the frame. A half open fire door, or one that doesn’t shut completely will not do its job in a fire.

Our Recommended Products

Fire safety saves lives. It is important to use properly certified fire-rated components to ensure your Fire Door meets regulations and ultimately so that it does it’s job in the event of a fire! Discover our high quality and approved range of products to help you meet fire safety regulations – from fire protection equipment to fire-rated products and accessories.

Eclipse Ball Bearing HingesIntumescent Hinge PadsIntumescent Acrylic Sealant‘Fire Door Keep Clear’ SignOverhead Door Closer

If you have any further enquiries, get in touch with one of our expert advisers on 01733 347348 and we will do everything possible to help