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Dust Monitoring Services Reduce the Risk of Respiratory Problems Among Workers

South Africa has a long and unenviable history of respiratory disease in the workplace. It has affected workers in the mining industry particularly, resulting in chronic and often fatal conditions, such as silicosis, pneumoconiosis, asbestosis, and berylliosis. In the case of the two latter conditions, even workers involved in the subsequent use of asbestos and beryllium have been affected following the inhalation of particles. Legislation has since been passed to protect workers exposed to these and other potentially harmful airborne particles, and dust monitoring services are providing a valuable contribution to the protection process.

Due to the high incidence of occupational disease associated with it, the continued use of asbestos has been banned in South Africa. However, its widespread use in the past means that many buildings still contain substantial quantities of the substance, and so, a rigorous management programme, which should include the regular use of dust monitoring services to detect any airborne asbestos fibres present, is essential.

Keeping an eye on the air quality is also important for a number of other reasons. In addition to those potentially dangerous dust particles, the air in the workplace could also be contaminated by microorganisms, such as bacteria or fungal spores. The latter can often pose a hazard to workers on agricultural premises. Gaseous substances, such as carbon monoxide or the vapours released by certain volatile organic compounds can also pose a serious health risk when inhaled. The possible presence of such contaminants, or of any harmful dust particles, requires monitoring services to conduct regular inspections of any workplace where there is a risk that such airborne hazards might exist.

To ensure that it is as effective as possible, the sampling process should not just be confined to the contents of the air, but should also include samples taken from the surfaces within any area of the workplace that is thought to be at risk. In order to minimise such risks and improve the air quality in the workplace, it requires a combination of source control, air filtration, and an effective ventilation system. To check that these measures are sufficiently effective, occupational hygiene specialists are equipped to provide a range of professional dust monitoring services.

Ensuring the health and safety of your employees whilst at work is not only important to maintain productivity, but is also a legal requirement. To provide the required assistance, occupational health companies must possess the appropriate certification and employ personnel who have been specially trained to perform health and safety inspections and to provide advice regarding any remedial action that might be necessary.

IOH Solutions is a provider of innovative occupational hygiene solutions, delivering services, such as dust monitoring, to some of South Africa’s most prestigious companies, nationwide. Certified by the Department of Labour as an approved inspection authority, our company is also accredited with the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS). We offer a comprehensive array of services ranging from asbestos identification and health risk assessments to water sampling, noise monitoring, and air quality assessments, among others.

Healthy workers mean a healthy business, but the presence of airborne contaminants in your workplace could eventually change that. Professional dust monitoring services form IOH Solutions are your guarantee that it will not.