5 Reasons to Adopt Dust Control Systems in the Workplace
It is no secret that in factories, quarries, and mines, workers are in regular contact with dust. Often it is the extraction, maintenance, or processing activities that kick dust particles up in the air. It goes without saying that exposure to dust is a significant health risk for your workers.
The health risk varies depending on the size and nature of the dust particles. Also, the type of illness ranges from lung disease to skin disease or even mental illness.
That is why it is essential to use the best dust control products to limit dust-related damage on your premises. But first, let’s look at the risks that your company and employees face when there is failure to control dust.
What are dust dangers?
Maintaining safe dust levels in factories or warehouses, even with regular and thorough cleaning programs, is nearly impossible. As a result, your company may be unable to comply with the policies of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). Your employees’ health is also at risk.
These are just some of the most common ways that dust exposure can threaten your workplace’s overall well-being.
What are the dangers of dust exposure for your staff’s health?
Dust is typically considered an annoying rather than a harmful thing. The truth is that it is hazardous, and its consequences on the health of your employees include the following:
Overexposure to dust causes respiratory problems that can lead to fatal respiratory diseases.
For example, fine dust particles, referred to as respirable dust, are easily inhaled through the nose and pharynx. They can then accumulate and occupy the air space in the lungs, causing blockages in the chest.
Exposure to dust can also cause asthma and pneumonia. A study by the Johns Hopkins Hospital has shown that lung disease is considered the most serious health risk associated with dust in the workplace.
Sadly, there is no cure for the chronic effects of dust exposure in the lungs. For this reason, employers must prioritise the health of their workers and ensure that there are zero dust levels. One of the best ways to get there is to use dust suppression technology.
Overexposure to dust can also lead to brain complications. A study of the brains of 900 subjects over the age of 60 showed that although there is no conclusive correlation between dust exposure and brain health, brains that were less exposed to dust were healthier. The study also showed that regular inhalation of respirable dust particles could lead to dementia and increased stroke risk.
What are the dangers of dust for your business?
Dust does not only create damage to a person’s health. It can also endanger your business in many ways:
Increase in maintenance costs
Whatever the quality of your machines, they cannot withstand the impact of dust in the long term. Dust not only compromises the quality of your finished products but also reduces your machines’ lifespan. This results in costly maintenance work. This can be avoided by investing in effective dust suppressants.
If you want your business to succeed and build a reputation, the last thing you want to do is violate EPA policies. And this is what you risk if you don’t take the dust control seriously.
In Australia, as a business or industry, you can be sanctioned if you don’t comply with EPA policies. Penalties can range from a warning to legal action.
Sanctions can include:
- Financial sanctions, such as fines
- Non-financial sanctions, such as the cancellation of licenses or notices
Five advantages of utilising dust control systems
Now that we have given you a preview of what can happen if you don’t handle dust properly, here are five reasons why your business needs a dust control system:
1. Improve product quality
Dust in the air can settle on products throughout the manufacturing process, which can have a detrimental impact on the finished product quality.
A dust control system provides a virtually dust-free environment. As a result, product quality gets better, and product defects caused by dust propagation are minimised.
2. Increase productivity
As dust accumulates on equipment, it can find its way inside, thereby hindering the equipment’s mechanics. As a result, machines can slow down, and equipment breakdowns can occur. Faulty devices require constant attention and repair, which is not suitable for productivity.
Dust control technology that reduces dust levels to zero allows you to increase productivity by reducing equipment downtime, sick worker leave, and workplace injuries.
3. Reduce health risks
Apart from attacking your employees’ lungs, dust particles can also accumulate on or near equipment, representing a significant fire hazard.
A dust suppression tool allows you to remove dust from the air, leaving room for cleaner air and improved safety for everyone. As a result, the workspace is clean and healthy.
4. Increase employee retention
Low air quality leads to unhappy employees who start looking for work elsewhere.
Studies have proven that dissatisfied employees do not work well, and high staff turnover can be costly.
Maintaining clean and healthy air with a plant dust suppression system improves employee morale and job satisfaction. It also makes way for reduced hiring and training costs.
5. Comply with workplace EPA
Numerous laws and regulations exist regarding safety in the workplace. Part of these regulations is related to the environment and air quality.
In addition to costing you in fines, low air quality can also cost you money by creating potential hazards that can damage your plant or affect your employees.
Factory dust control methods help you comply with government regulations and ensure everyone’s safety and everything inside the building.
Not only does having a dust suppression system give you a chance to retain your employees, but it also is likely to give your company a good reputation. This is why you should double down on dust control.
One of the best strategies for controlling dust at your plant is to resort to waterless technologies that can deliver long-term dust control.
Are you having environmental regulations, health, and safety concerns? Need help with any of these? Let us know in the comments below.
Troy Adams is the Managing Director of Global Road Technology, an international engineering technology company in Australia that specialises in engineered solutions for dust suppression, erosion control, soil stabilisation and water management. A pioneering, socially conscious Australian entrepreneur, Troy is passionate about safer, healthier and more cost-effective solutions in the mining and infrastructure sectors and beyond.