Did you know that workers subject to airborne dust at their workplace are 20 times more likely to die of exposure to harmful airborne substances than from a workplace accident?
Every year, 5,000-6,000 people in New Zealand are hospitalised after being exposed to airborne contaminants at work, including sawdust and silica.
Dust is generated many ways, product processing, tyre dust, mud that is tracked in and dries, the list goes on. This dust rapidly becomes airborne and can cause many issues from contamination, poor appearance, increased maintenance costs for plant but the worst of all is the effects on human health.
You might think that this issue is only found on construction sites however it also occurs in more subtle areas like general warehousing, manufacturing and distribution due to the movement of products vehicles and personnel.
The number of people effected in their health needs to fall dramatically and we at Proquip can help.
Why Is The Hospitalisation Rate So High?
Every industrial workplace in New Zealand will develop a dust accumulation to varying degrees. Obviously, some are worse than others. The trouble starts when small particles of dust become suspended in the air and workers can inhale these particles.
A person’s upper respiratory system can filter out the larger particles, but smaller particles can go deep into the lungs causing damage and scarring to the lung tissue. Each time this happens a small amount of irreversible damage occurs.
This damage reduces the ability of the lungs to take in oxygen and over time makes it increasingly difficult to breathe. Further to this, over a period of time the damaged lung tissue can develop disease that we all recoil at the name. Cancer.
How can this issue be overcome?
The answer is not complicated. Stop dust as close to the source as you possibly can and invest in equipment to deal with it constantly, don’t allow build up.
Industrial vacuum cleaners with correctly specified filter systems are an efficient way of eliminating dust build-up on and around plant and equipment. They can be connected to power tools for on-tool extraction and some models can be fitted with an extra wide front mount floortool that connects to the front of a vacuum and can clean open spaces.
For larger areas, sweeping machines fitted with specially designed dust control systems are a perfect option for larger areas like cleaning warehouses where dust can fall and accumulate. Sweeping machines with dust control are available as walk behind units or for larger sites ride-on sweepers are a better options