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.