There are many negative implications to working in a dusty workplace. Below are just some of the major dangers of a dusty workplace and how you can reduce dust levels.
A Health Hazard
One of the most serious negative effects of working in a dusty workplace is the effect that it can have on you and your employees’ health. High levels of general dust can increase the risk of developing asthma and other respiratory diseases. Certain types of dust such as flour, asbestos and silicon particles are particularly dangerous and can lead to lethal lung diseases.
High levels of dust in the air could affect the performance of machinery. Dust is a contributor to hard drive failure in computers – build-ups of dust can cause hard drives to overheat, leading to data loss. Dust can also damage manufacturing machinery by contaminating lubricants.
A dusty workplace isn’t good for your company image. If customers visit your workplace, high levels of dust might create a poor impression that causes them to reconsider using your service. High levels of dust could also lead to poor morale amongst employees.
Improve Workplace Ventilation
Ventilation can help to reduce dust levels in the air. Opening windows isn’t always the best solution as this can let in further dust from outside. An electric ventilation system (often incorporated into HVAC) is usually needed to help filter dust from the air.
Factories and workplaces with increased levels of dust may require specialist air purification and ventilation systems. Dust collectors are used on many manufacturing machines to prevent dust getting into the air or onto the ground. With dangerous forms of dust, these dust collector systems could be legally compulsory.
Clean Your Workplace Thoroughly
Over time dust can settle on floors, shelves and in other places. Such dust shouldn’t be allowed to build up. Keep on top of dust by adopting a cleaning schedule. This could include vacuuming carpets, sweeping hard floors and wiping all surfaces with a wet cloth. You could hire a cleaning company to do this or you could make it a duty for you and your staff to take care of.
Every year it could be worth carrying out a deep clean. This is an opportunity to clean all those hard to reach areas where dust collects – it could involve removing objects from shelves in order to dust them as well as carrying out duct cleaning and air con filter cleaning. You can even schedule deep cleaning of machinery to protect against machinery failure. This could include replacing lubricants and checking the inside of machinery.
Encourage Employees To Wear PPE
In work environments where high levels of dust are unavoidable such as factories and flour mills, it could be worth encouraging employees to wear PPE. Masks (in particular respirator masks) can help to prevent workers inhaling dust. Eye and ear protection could also be an option. Consider whether this is necessary for your workplace.