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Dusts in Hazardous Workplaces

No matter where you work, you are not entirely safe from accidents, injuries, and illnesses. But it can be argued that some workplaces are more dangerous compared to others, like how manufacturing plants present more risk for lung and skin problems compared to office buildings, due to the increased chance of dust exposure.

Here are just some of the different kinds of hazardous dusts and particulates. The presence of these will depend on the industry, materials used, and techniques practiced:

  • Agriculture and Farming – Those in the agricultural and farming sectors may be exposed to organic dusts, such as those from animal wastes and crops, and other dusts that may result from processes like harvesting, planting, and weeding.
  • Carpentry – Carpenters are particularly vulnerable to wood dusts, especially on carpentry processes such as cutting, sanding, and scraping.
  • Construction – Construction workers may be exposed to asbestos, especially in renovating and demolishing old buildings that have utilized the material. Dusts from cement should also not be overlooked.
  • Manufacturing – Manufacturing plant workers are exposed to a variety of particles, including metal cuttings, oil mists, and welding fumes.
  • Mining and Quarrying – Workers in these industries are at risk of mineral dusts, such as those from coal and silica. They are particularly vulnerable to these dusts during extraction and processing.
  • Textile – Those in textile processing are also vulnerable to dusts, such as those from cotton, leather, and wool.

There are certain solutions to minimize the risk of dust exposure. For instance, RoboVent has ventilation systems that effectively filter dusts in manufacturing plants. Solutions can also be as simple as wearing the appropriate gear to avoid direct exposure and maintaining the premises to avoid dust buildup. The key is for the employer and employee to acknowledge that the risk of dust exposure is real and it needs an immediate solution.

Not giving particular importance to clean air in the workplace may result into a variety of illnesses, depending on the industry. These illnesses often involve internal complications, such as respiratory problems and even cancers.

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