A clean working environment can help attract and retain the best employees

Filtermist has almost 50 years’ experience in effective oil mist removal. In addition to tangible benefits such as a healthy workforce and reduced production downtime, the clean working environment that results from using effective extraction can also provide a number of less obvious advantages.

Working with distributors in 60 countries worldwide means Filtermist frequently discusses issues faced in global markets. Whilst some countries such as the UK, France and Denmark have legislation designed to protect people from exposure to oil mist and other harmful airborne contaminants, others including Germany and China do not have formal guidelines in place. 

However, manufacturers in countries where there is no legal obligation to install effective air extraction and filtration still invest in oil mist collectors for a number of reasons. The most obvious is their duty of care to employees, but employee recruitment and retention is also a significant reason for providing a clean working environment.

Carl Yu, Filtermist’s Business Development Manager in China comments, “China has laws on the limitation of discharge of waste gas and waste water, but we have not got specific laws on oil mist.

“Despite this, a new generation of young workers are requiring a much cleaner and safer environment with their growing realisation of the hazards of oil mist.”

This opinion was recently mirrored by Bristol, one of Filtermist’s German distributors. Sales Director Ralf Platz commented, “Germany currently has the lowest unemployment rate it has had for a long time so recruiting is quite difficult – particularly for companies that need skilled employees. In a job-seekers’ market, a clean working environment gives employers a competitive edge over other companies looking for the best quality people. No-one wants to work in a polluted environment that could make them ill.”

This growing awareness of employees’ entitlement to a clean workplace is definitely a step in the right direction as far as Filtermist Managing Director James Stansfield is concerned. “Royal Products, our distributor in North America, ran a very successful campaign looking at how office workers would react if their office was full of oil mist and smoke – it just wouldn’t happen,” he comments. 

“Despite this, some companies still think it is acceptable to expose their production operatives to hazardous substances. It is not. Everyone should have the right to work in a clean environment.”

This ‘right’ is instilled in employees at an early age in countries like the UK which has strict CoSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) guidelines. Organisations are required to adhere to CoSHH irrespective of whether they are a multi-national manufacturer or a school woodworking department.

James continues, “Historically manufacturing has been perceived as being a ‘dirty’ industry to work in, but this is no longer the case in the majority of production facilities. The air in our own factory where we manufacture Filtermist units is exactly the same quality as it is in our office. And that is exactly how it should be – our production operatives are just as important as our office based staff.” 

The right people are key to the ongoing success of all organisations. In an ideal world, all countries would have guidelines designed to protect machine operators’ health, but in the meantime Filtermist is pleased that there appears to be an increasing global awareness of the need to offer clean, safe working environments for everyone.