We’ve previously highlighted how unclean air is a natural by-product of manufacturing and engineering operations, with individual processes resulting in differing types of air pollution – including oil mist, smoke, and dust.
Here we outline the impact that poor indoor air quality can have on employees’ health and wellbeing, as well as the importance of clean air from a safety perspective too…
Health & Wellbeing
It’s been well-documented that exposure to metalworking fluids – through both skin contact and inhalation – can cause health issues including dermatitis, acne, and asthma. Whilst larger particles such as dust enter the nose and mouth, finer particles such as oil mist and oil smoke pass through human ‘filters’ and travel into the respiratory system and/or the bloodstream.
And, with particles from some modern machines tending to be smaller than those previously generated – the risk of health issues to workers can be increased due to traditional filters being unable to cope with these submicron particles.
In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that over 65 million people currently suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with 3 million dying from it each year, making it the third leading cause of death worldwide. In the UK, occupational respiratory disease is estimated to result in approximately 12,000 deaths every year.
Ensuring that the air within a work environment is kept clean can have a significant impact – lowering the levels of short term health issues such as headaches, fatigue, and nausea as well as reducing the risk of longer term, and potentially debilitating, illnesses such as lung disease and cancers (according to the British Lung Foundation 77% of cases of lung disease in the UK are not smoking-related as many believe).
Industrial pollution from unclean air can be a common cause of slippery floors within a manufacturing setting, posing serious implications from a health and safety perspective – with slips and trips remaining the single most common cause of major injury in UK workplaces. Such occurrences can be potentially devastating for not only the individual involved, but for the wider organisation – from injury claims, lost working days, lower productivity levels, and subsequent financial burdens.
Oil used in many manufacturing processes is also highly flammable and there is a prominent risk of it catching fire from an electrical or associated heat source.
Working to provide pollutant-free air within any manufacturing or engineering facility can not only protect employees from physically harming themselves (or others), and reduced liability for employers and any associated compensation costs, but it can dramatically reduce the risk of fires – all of which could be catastrophic for any business.
Contact Filtermist to find out how we can help ensure the air in your workshop is clean and safe to breathe.