From the dawn of the industrial age people have been achieving incredible technical feats that worked to improve the everyday lifestyle of society. However, with the industries’ rapid expansions the question of health and safety hazards has sometimes been overlooked. Unfortunately no one challenged many of these unsafe practices until they had already proven harmful to those involved.
Many products from factories deal with machined parts. These components need to be very precise, usually requiring an employee to shave, grind or sand down the components to the required specifications. Between materials such as metals, wood, or composites such as fiberglass, the dusts produced by these processes can be extremely harmful to the body. A common ailment found in industrial employees working under such conditions is a form of lung fibrosis called silicosis, which has been responsible for 14,000 deaths in America from poor work conditions since 1968.
Silicosis is caused by the inhalation of crystalline silica dust into the lung cavities. While some industrial employee safety precautions like face masks can help reduce some of the risk, new technologies have been developed to improve work conditions for the one million workers at risk of developing silicosis in America, such as the use of downdraft tables. Self-contained DualDraw downdraft tables are designed to catch dangerous dust with special perforated surfaces while also gathering the airborne particles and fumes into a filtration system.
Not only does the collection of dangerous dust reduce the harm to employee’s lungs, but it also prevents the accumulation of particles that can lead to industrial explosions caused by combustible dust. Just during the short period between 2009-2013, 26 people were killed with another 129 injured from a total of 57 reported incidents of combustible dust explosions.
Industrial ventilation equipment, including downdraft booths and downdraft tables, help save lives – both from keeping dangerous substances away from operators but also by mitigating explosion hazards through the safe containment of combustible dust. Bottom line – any industrial organization producing dust or fumes during a production process needs to seriously consider investing in the proper industrial safety equipment and dust collection tools to ensure safe working conditions. Industrial safety precautions help save lives and reduce the risk to a facility of a catastrophic event.