zurück zur Übersicht
September 2018
Cold milling machines in Europe in the 'green zone'
Industry solution for effective dust reduction takes hold sustainably

For years, the reduction of dust emissions has been one of the intensively discussed topics in the VESF, the Association of European Road Milling Contractors e.V. To this end, the association or the milling service providers have been actively cooperating as pioneers for more than 15 years, especially with the authorities in the Netherlands and Germany. In this context, numerous solutions have been developed and extensively tested.

The result: Today, the milling service providers in the VESF all operate machines that are well below even the German limit values tightened in 2014 and 2015. And even milling service providers in countries without corresponding regulations have - motivated by discussions within the association - switched to machines with corresponding technology.

Milling with significantly reduced emissions everywhere in Europe is possible today because the machine manufacturers now have appropriate systems for extracting dust in the area of the discharge conveyor in their portfolio. As a result, milling machine operators are now protected from work-related health hazards as never before. Milling service providers have made considerable investments to achieve this goal.

Dust reduction in cold milling - a review

Since 2004, there have been guidelines in the Netherlands for the maximum workplace concentration (MAK) of quartz dusts for workers in the construction industry. In the run-up to this - around the year 2000 - the milling service providers in the Netherlands, together with Wirtgen as the machine manufacturer and TNO ("Organisation for Applied Scientific Research", as a public corporation a governmental organisation), tested a system for dust extraction in large milling machines. After the effectiveness of the solution was proven, corresponding systems for the protection of employees were introduced very quickly.

This solution - at that time the only one available on the market - was reviewed by the German Employer's Liability Insurance Association (BG) from 2007 onwards. In the following years, VESF carried out numerous measurements together with the BG in Germany. They also showed that devices in accordance with BGI 790-20 noticeably reduce dust exposure for employees on and around the cold milling machine. All limit values were clearly undercut. Based on this, the BG and the VESF agreed on an industry solution in 2010 after intensive cooperation. In this agreement, the European milling service providers in the VESF committed themselves to using only machines with "effective dust reduction".

Several manufacturers took this as an opportunity to develop appropriate systems for extracting dust in the area of the discharge conveyor and to include them in their portfolio. This was not least because the VESF, as an association, promoted this development.

After the limit values or assessment standards for the relevant dust fractions (A-dust and E-dust) were lowered in Germany in 2014 and 2015, the milling service providers in VESF carried out new measurements together with the BG. The result of these measurements is also pleasing for the milling service providers, because all values were far below the limit values: for A-dust, less than 80% of the permissible exposure was found, for E-dust even only 7 - 15% and for quartz, the measurements showed values between 6 and 90% of the new assessment standard.

This means that the prevention efforts have been successful. Regardless of the goals achieved so far, the European milling service providers in the VESF are also open to supporting manufacturers in developing new, differently designed solutions to reduce dust emissions.

DOCX download