Collaboration is Key
Utilising skills already present in our clients team is very valuable when developing controls. One client was using talc to coat rubber seals by placing them into a barrel, adding talc, spinning the barrel, and then removing the coated rubber seals. During the opening of the barrel visible amount of talc dust could be seen exiting the barrel and into the operators breathing zone. Initial dust exposure monitoring showed inhalable and respirable dust monitoring results were exceeding the Workplace Exposure Standards. Rather than get the operators to wear respirators all the time we recommended that extraction be installed.
This company had an engineering and maintenance team. The manager suggested we get them involved and as we outlined what a good extraction system would look like the maintenance team came up with a great idea and said they could fabricate it in-house. This was great as they could tailor it to their specific requirements, it saved cost to the business, and it could be done quickly. Once the system was up and running we went back in, assessed the extraction system, and repeated the dust monitoring. The extraction assessment showed that dust was being drawn into the extraction hood and the monitoring results backed that up. Results were well below exposure standards and this meant that there team were no longer exposed to elevated dust levels. Validating that a control is working effectively is so important and it was great to see this client implement a solution with great collaboration with their team.