You wouldn't dream of sandblasting something inside a building without taking care to contain the debris that the sandblasting can throw out. But sandblasting outside seems like a different situation, where a little debris escaping and blowing away doesn't seem so bad. That's actually not the case; debris containment outside is just as important, if not more important, than debris containment inside. If you're trying to hire a construction or demolition crew that will need to do some sandblasting, don't assume they can just get right to work; they'll need time to plan for good containment. Containment is essential for safety and for staying in good graces legally.
It's the Law
First, it's the law. WorkSafe Queensland notes that both buffer zones (to keep away people who are not part of the project) and temporary enclosures are necessary, with no exclusions regarding where the item being sandblasted is located. The only change is if the structure can't be fully enclosed, and then you need a partial enclosure that has to meet more standards. When you get bids for your project, ask specifically about dust containment for sandblasting to ensure the crew you hire is doing everything properly. You could be subject to fines if the job isn't done correctly and debris escapes.
Particle and Dust Emissions Don't Simply Fall to the Ground
Remember that dust and particles spewed out by sandblasting don't just fall to the ground a few centimetres away. Much of the lighter debris and dust can float on air currents and land a distance away, making the entire area look bad and creating environmental problems. No one wants to come home to extra dust all over their yard because your facility on the next block couldn't contain debris properly.
The Debris Can Cause Injuries
For people closer to the blasting site, being hit with debris is a real concern. While the particles wouldn't be "big" in the usual sense, there are some particles that can be big compared to dust. These can fly and hit people, and if they hit someone in the eye (a passersby, for example, who wouldn't be wearing eye protection), that's big trouble for you.
All these illustrate why you need to hire a sandblasting crew who will do everything they can to contain whatever dust the sandblasting produces. What happens with that sandblasting project will affect your business and your reputation for doing things legally. A professional sandblasting service will help keep you and the surrounding community safe and as clean as possible.
For more information on sandblasting, contact a professional near you.