Jay Hounsell, a Herts-based carpenter and business owner, explains why he believes dust extraction should be the number one priority for everyone in the trade.
He says: “I’ve been working in the carpentry industry for 20-odd years. My new company – The Hertfordshire Kitchen Company – has been going for two years and is successfully placing itself in the market for the supply and installation of quality domestic kitchens in Herts and the surrounding areas.
“Working in an environment with dust extraction has massively changed my working practices. I have a lot of Festool kit as its tools and dust extractors work together really well. My work means I’m continually using routers, drills and circular saws with extractors – it makes the working environment more comfortable, cleaner and safer – I hate working in a mess! Feedback from our customers is good – on our Facebook page a number have mentioned how clean and tidy the job has been.
“Dust extraction also helps with the longevity of the tools which therefore means less ‘down-time’.”
Jay says that the health benefits have to be the number one reason for using Festool kit. He says: “I’ve been lucky to never have suffered from asthma or other breathing problems. I believe this is partly attributable to the use of my Festool dust extractors and their excellent integration with their tools. After years of working in carpentry I’m aware of the risks of working without a dust extractor and now use one whenever the tools allow. Kitchen fitting is indoor work so it’s a ‘must’ as it’s not always practical or possible to do all the cutting outside.
“I know people that don’t bother using them as they think they’re not necessary, are too expensive or they’re too big and bulky to wheel in and out of jobs. Some people will also use something unsuitable that’s not up to the job! I think it’s a bit of laziness from some people and lack of awareness about the dangers.
“Dust extraction needs to be a top priority for people in the trade. I have two L Class extractors and, since we’ve developed our work with solid surface worktops that produce finer dust, I also have an M Class system now too. I use each one depending on the job. The ‘system’ is what I like about Festool, the systainers enable easy organisation and all stack on top of each other which makes the mobility of kit when you’re on the job so much easier.”
Festool, the leading supplier of high-end power tools and accessories, including a range of dust extractors, has been speaking with business owners as part of its latest Breathe Easy campaign.
The company has teamed up with the British Lung Foundation (BLF) to provide top quality cycling tops, available here: http://bit.ly/Festooltop, as a fundraising initiative and has asked business owners about their attitudes to dust extraction.
According to the British Thoracic Society’s report The Burden of Lung Disease, men aged 20-64 employed in manual occupations are around 14 times more likely to die from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and are nine times more likely to die from tuberculosis.
Occupational lung diseases such as mesothelioma – caused by exposure to asbestos fibres – are increasing. Since 1992, mesothelioma deaths have increased by 70% to 1,862.
Jon Burcham, Marketing Manager at Festool, said: “Festool has long-been associated with our excellent dust extraction systems.
“Due to heightened levels of understanding about the harm that dust can have on people’s lung health, we can see that dust extraction and the measures tradesmen need to take to protect their lungs will be something that will be legislated about in the near future.”
Perfect for mobile use and assembly, the Festool range of safe and robust dust extractors are lightweight and compact, ideal to transport from job to job, saving time for tradespeople. Festool’s dust extractors are suitable for any job from low to high class dust, including general work to anything that is a known carcinogen including lead, cadmium and asbestos. To find the right dust extractor for you, visit www.festool.co.uk for more information.