Ventilation can provide almost as much frustration as it does safety.
Ventilate an indoor construction site all you like – you’re still just pushing a hazard out of the way. Any diesel engines running in the site are emitting diesel particulate matter (DPM). Your workers are being exposed to soot particles that contain metal, sulfates, and silicates. All in all, exhaust from diesel construction equipment contains more than 40 toxic substances.
Short-term exposure to diesel exhaust will cause headaches and dizziness, and workers can also have irritated eyes and noses. It can spur sore throats bad enough to cause a worker to call in sick. Prolonged exposure to DPM has been shown to increase the risk of cardiopulmonary, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases.
How do you keep diesel exhaust away from workers in indoor construction sites? Adequate ventilation. And if you’re on the job, you know that this very safety structure put in place to protect you can be one of the biggest obstacles to your crew’s progress.
A better solution
As long as you’ve got diesel or any equipment using an internal combustion engine running inside a contained area, you’ve got the added necessity of adequate ventilation. It’s expensive. It’s cumbersome. It’s also often unnecessary.
Smart construction companies with a focus on indoor or contained work are abandoning liquid fuel equipment and switching to battery power. Battery-powered construction equipment completely eliminates fuel costs from their budgets, and it also totally removes the requirement and cost of ventilation for workers – not to mention the health risks.
Is there a trade-off?
The first thing that comes to mind might be that you’ll trade power and efficiency for a safer working environment. And while safety will always be important, who wants to mess with wimpy replacements for the sturdy diesel workhorses we’ve all come to depend on?
It’s a valid concern. And it’s also the one thing that’s causing the biggest waves of surprise through the construction industry. Today’s battery-powered construction equipment is just as powerful as a liquid fuel-powered counterpart. There’s no sacrifice. Period.
The companies creating these new battery-powered construction alternatives have the luxury of no constraints. They’re not stuck figuring out how to contain an internal combustion engine in the design, and the results are products like the Sherpa mini skid steer.
It’s less than 30 inches wide, so you can literally steer it directly to your indoor construction site without having to worry about doorways. It’s going to glide right through all of them, without even having to take any doors off their hinges.
The average internal combustion engine has thousands of parts, and they’re heavy monsters. Battery-powered electric motors in construction equipment create a considerable savings in overall weight and complexity. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just use a standard elevator to get your indoor construction equipment up to where the work needs to be done? The Sherpa electric mini skid steer weighs in at only 1,600 pounds.
Finally, you’re going to plug it into a standard 110-volt outlet. Your fuel costs go from ridiculous to essentially zero.
Better all the way around
Battery-powered construction equipment is better for your workers. You can forget about the logistics and costs of ventilation. Your crew will also appreciate the noticeable difference in sound pollution, since the equipment is nearly silent. There’ll also be no constant throbbing of the big ventilation fans moving the diesel exhaust out of the indoor construction area.
Battery-powered alternatives like the Sherpa are so quiet and safe that they’re approved by OSHA for indoor work. Remodeling and renovation companies have been the first to jump in and embrace these benefits, but the rest of the industry is following.
Often, an aggressive movement toward safety means a painful and costly investment. This is one time when it’s actually the reverse. Yes, there’s the cost to purchase new battery-powered construction equipment. But the minute that equipment is in your hands, your operational costs plummet. Calculate the savings for yourself here.
Battery-powered construction equipment for indoor work is going to be much kinder to your bottom line. It’s exponentially safer for your crew and it’s also better for the environment. This is one solution that simply doesn’t have a compromise.
For more detail on our battery-powered mini skid steers and wheelbarrows, or the technology we use to make them run, explore our website. And please contact us at 954.978.3440 or through our online form with any questions.