Guarda Systems – Cutting innovation saves lives and transforms an industry
In 2005, Steve Terpstra sought a solution for hazardous silica dust and carbon monoxide that was an inherent result of wall chasing and concrete cutting in his day-to-day working life.
At risk of inhaling hazardous and harmful silica dust – which is thought to be rapidly becoming the number one industrial disease globally – Steve came up with the Guarda Edge Power Cutter with Tri-Vac Technology™, the 2019 ‘Most Innovative Product Award Winner’ at the World Concrete Trade Show in Las Vegas.
The science behind the problem
According to the Cancer Council in Australia, approximately 587,000 Australian workers were exposed to silica dust in the workplace in 2011. It has been estimated that 5758 of these workers will develop-a-lung cancer over the course of their life as a result of that exposure.
While there are many work safety organisations and government bodies dealing with silica dust, the science behind the problem, and the reason for Guarda’s inception, indicates that the solution is a technological one.
What is silica dust?
Silica dust (crystalline silica) naturally occurs in all stone, concrete & bricks. The most common form is quartz and the dust is emitted by workers cutting through brick, tiles, concrete and other masonry products.
100 times smaller than a grain of sand, crystalline silica, when inhaled into the lungs of a worker, can cause silicosis and is one of the key hazards for workers on high-risk work sites such as mines, construction sites, or even in homes.
It’s thought that 230 people develop lung cancer a year due to the inhalation of silica dust, creating the need for a solution in worksites and high-risk sites in Australia and across the globe.
The Guarda solution
Knowledgeable about the problems silica creates for workers, including himself, Steve Terpstra invented the Guarda Edge Power Cutter with Tri-Vac Technology™.
“Its main purpose is to reduce the silica dust & carbon monoxide hazards when cutting masonry and save lives,” Craig Penty, Managing Director commented.
With an innovative technical solution, the Guarda Edge Power Cutter with Tri-Vac Technology™ extracts silica dusty, slurry and fumes in a very innovative way – unlike anything else on the market.
The patented Tri-Vac technology controls silica dust, slurry and fumes with a combination of delivering water to the blade of the saw when cutting, while simultaneously vacuuming the fumes, dust and slurry away from the worker during operation. (See the video of how it works here).
Market Opportunity Underpinned by Purpose
While the concrete cutting saw market is estimated at $1.5 billion per annum, Guarda Systems are seeking capital to accelerate their production and expansion of their product and footprint.
Cutting their way into a market requires funds, connections and dedication.
“We have made great inroads into securing some great distribution partners, and have a strong global interest including from one very large tool-hire company in the UK,” Craig Penty explained.
“Guarda’s edge is that silicosis and carbon monoxide hazards on worksites aren’t limited to one market. These are global problems and our vision is to create a world where every worker who cuts concrete, stone or brick, can do so without fear of dying from lung disease,” Craig explains when outlining Guarda’s existence and vision.
Investment Offering and Use of Funds
Having already raised $650k from existing shareholders, personal networks and investors, Guarda is now on a mission to offer 21% equity in the company in return for AUD$1 million.
These funds will be used for producing and manufacturing more units of Guarda’s Edge Power Cutter with Tri-Vac Technology™, combined with a greater spend on sales and marketing, to cut into the market.
Find out more about Guarda’s investment opportunity and get in touch today here.