Respiratory Risks On The Job – A Guide
Workers worldwide face respiratory hazards while carrying out their job responsibilities. Common workplaces are filled with harmful dust and infectious particles, posing a risk to employees across various industries. Consequently, managers must make every effort to ensure their workers have adequate respiratory protection.
Safeguarding against respiratory hazards involves implementing preventive measures that foster a safe working environment. The process commences with a comprehensive evaluation of workplace hazards, conducted by certified professionals. This assessment focuses on identifying situations in which employees may be exposed to emissions and materials that jeopardize air quality and health. Specialized equipment is utilized to perform air quality tests, enabling the determination of the source and extent of the risks involved.
Once the assessment is complete, a plan of action should be implemented to mitigate and eliminate identified threats. Hazard reduction can be approached through administrative and engineering controls. Administrative controls involve modifying employee tasks or the manner in which they are performed to minimize exposure. This may include creating well-planned schedules, establishing written operating procedures, and enforcing compliance through signage.
Engineering controls aim to eliminate or dilute hazards. For example, a company can install vacuum and ventilation systems at the workplace to remove air contaminants. Automation can also be employed to replace or minimize manual tasks, thereby reducing exposure.
When hazards cannot be completely eliminated or effectively controlled, the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) becomes crucial. These innovative tools safeguard employees’ lungs against contamination and infection when worn correctly and maintained properly. PPE examples include masks, respirators, supplied air systems, and self-contained breathing apparatuses. These devices filter harmful chemicals from the air, remove particles, or supply clean air from external sources.
Occupational lung diseases remain prevalent work-related illnesses in the United States, despite being entirely preventable. It is vital for those in positions of authority to implement necessary changes, invest in innovative solutions, and ensure proper maintenance of PPE to minimize workplace hazards and protect employees’ health.
For further information on reducing respiratory risks in the workplace, please refer to the accompanying guide.
Visit Premier Safety’s website to browse PPE gear