Grit and dust pollution

How to minimise dust from industrial, trade or business premises

What is dust?

Dust is a very general term. It refers to small windblown particles, many of which are invisible to the human eye.  A lot of dust occurs naturally from such things as pollen and sea spray.

Construction processes such as sand blasting and demolition works are the main cause of dust problems. We can only deal with dust as a statutory nuisance if it arises from industrial, trade or business premises.

Report a grit or dust nuisance

How to prevent excess dust and grit

We expect contractors to use the 'best practical means' for controlling pollution and environmental nuisance.

The main contractor is responsible for all the activities of all sub-contractors on site at all times.

In most cases, potential dust problems can be avoided by following these guidelines:

  • provide and use suitably covered skips and enclosed chutes or take other suitable measures. This should minimise dust emission to the atmosphere when materials and waste are removed from premises
  • keep all skips used for the storage of waste covered so far as is reasonably possible
  • provide, fix and maintain suitable screens or awnings to the building and scaffold. This should effectively minimise the amount of dust and debris falling or being blown around
  • provide, maintain and use a supply of water, and means of dispensing it, to dampen dust
  • don't sweep any dust or dusty material without effectively treating it with water, or other suitable substance, to stop it being blown out of the premises

When moving materials off-site, consider:

  • dampening down the area being excavated to reduce the possibility of windblown dust
  • washing down all machinery and vehicles including wheels before leaving the site or joining a public highway. This should prevent dust being transported outside the construction area
  • ensuring sheeting on vehicles is securely tied before removing dusty material from the site