Minimizing Dust Exposure in the Workplace

Dust exposure is one of the most underrated hazards in the workplace. Dust can result into various bodily complications, and these complications can be external or internal.

Externally, dust can irritate the eyes and skin, especially dusts that are induced with chemicals. Internally, dust can irritate the nose and throat, block air pathways, help in the development of respiratory problems, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and of various types of cancers.

It is also a common misconception that dust exposure is a risk only to those who work in hazardous industries, such as construction, manufacturing, and mining. Though workers in these industries are more vulnerable, all kinds of workers are actually at risk of dust exposure, even those who are just sitting in a cubicle in their office buildings. Below are some of the ways dust exposure can be minimized.

Cleaning the surroundings

Cleanliness of the workplace is essential to workplace safety. Even the most typical office space is vulnerable to various dust particles, especially biological contaminants that develop because of improper food disposal, temperature, and humidity, such as bacteria, molds, and spores.

In inherently dusty places, such as construction sites, putting everything in its proper place and preventing dust buildup, especially of metal cuttings and cement and wood dusts, are good ideas.

Wearing appropriate gears

If the job directly relates to dust exposure, such as the cases for manufacturing and mining, the employer should provide appropriate gears to their employees and implement strict safety regulations regarding their mandatory use, so dust exposure can be strictly limited and controlled.

Gears may differ according to the industry, but usually, they take the form of goggles, masks, gloves, jackets, and boots.

Installing proper filtration systems

Air circulation and filtration are just as important as premises maintenance and use of safety gears. In office spaces, this can involve air conditioning and other ventilation systems. In relatively dustier workplaces like factories, this can involve industrial dust collection systems.

With the combination of engineering solutions, such as the installation of proper filtration systems, and of simple solutions, such as cleaning the place and wearing appropriate gears, dust exposure can be effectively minimized. As a result, the health risks are also less likely to be sustained.

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Workplace Injuries: What to Do in the Aftermath

It’s not surprising to know that the workplace can be a particularly dangerous place for individuals involved in manual labor jobs. Accidents happen frequently in worksites for manufacturing, mining, and construction. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, more than over 2.9 million workplace injuries were reported in the private industry sector during the year 2013. These reports showed that the most common accidents in high-risk workplaces are slipping and falling, toxic exposure, electrocution, and those caused by defective equipment or machinery.

There’s no foolproof way to completely prevent this accidents from happening in workplaces. However, as the lawyers of Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC note, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was legislated in the US as a way to protect workers from the serious consequences of these situations. The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires that employers follow certain regulations, including ensuring that their workplaces live up to particular safety standards. When these standards aren’t met, other avenues have been made available for workers and employees affected by such negligence.

Workplace accidents often lead to injuries affecting an individual’s ability to work and earn a living. Workers in this position are left with very little options. Recovering from a workplace injury will require taking time off from work, and many individuals might not be able to afford taking such a long break from their source of income. Fortunately, the law entitles workplace accident victims to workers’ compensation benefits. The compensation awarded to victims can help in covering medical bills and additional expenses.

Still, even with the available legal procedures, many people still find it difficult to claim the workers’ compensation that owed to them. In fact, the process of claiming workers’ compensation can tediously take a long time. Injured workers are advised to seek out assistance from an experienced legal professional to help expedite the process.

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