Commercial and home workshops differ in many ways. Home workshop users don’t need to worry about COSHH or the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health or other regulations designed to keep workers safe.
However, in many other ways, they are extremely similar. Both areas will contain potentially dangerous equipment, toxic substances, chemicals, and other dangers if not looked after properly.
Both types of workshops need to have adequate systems to remove dust, and with a home workshop, the importance of this could be easy to overlook.
Why Do You Need Dust Extraction?
For a start, dust makes your workshop look messy. If you had a commercial workshop and you showed a client around, it is doubtful they would be impressed by seeing floors and machinery covered in dust.
Apart from the aesthetics, dust can cause real short-term and long-term problems. Dust can get into your machinery and prevent it from working efficiently. It can cause a slipping hazard when a layer of dust is spread across a floor. More worrying is that dust can cause a fire hazard.
Dust comes in various forms, including wood and metal dust. Certain types of dust can be combustible and even cause an explosion.
Then there are the health hazards.
Health Hazards Presented By Dust In A Workshop
If you are designing and decorating your new garage, you may be considering including a workshop. What you may not have considered is the importance of including dust extraction and ventilation.
Many people operate workshops from their home garage and assume that an open window or the main door open will be adequate ventilation. What they are not considering is the health risks that are attached to dust.
These risks can include eyes, skin, and lung damage. When proper safety equipment is ignored, not used correctly, or there is a lack of proper dust extraction, you are exposing yourself to immediate and longer-term problems.
Dust Particles And The Eyes
Getting dust particles in your eyes can lead to irritation, excessive tearing, and possible abrasions or scratches.
If the skin comes into contact with dust or any corrosive workshop substance, it can suffer irritation, redness, blistering, soreness, and in extreme long-term cases, skin cancer.
By far, the biggest risk from not removing dust and fumes from a workshop is damage to the lungs. At best, you could cause irritation and blockages to your nasal passages. You may also make existing respiratory problems worse, such as asthma or pneumonia, and in the long-term, you could face work-related lung diseases.
These diseases include silicosis, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
How Do You Make Sure Your Workshop Has Good Dust Extraction?
There are many effective ways to manage dust removal, and a good air purifier might help in a small, basic workshop. However, in a commercial or good-sized home workshop, you may need other solutions.
Many dust extraction specialists can help with dust extraction solutions. A dust extraction engineer can help test existing systems to ensure they meet safety standards and then recommend alterations and point out areas that need improvement.
A dust extraction specialist can also design, supply, and install systems specifically for commercial needs. These can include auto extraction units, sensors, flexible ducting, fans, waste collection bags, and filters.
What Are The Benefits Of Having Good Dust Extraction?
For your home workshop, it means that your work area is clean, tidy, and safer. Your tools and machinery will work better if they are not clogged with dust, and you will also breathe easier.
The air will be clearer, surfaces dust-free, and you will know that you have reduced some of the hazards of workshops.
When it comes to commercial workshops, the same applies, except there are other benefits too. Clean workshops show employees that their company cares about them and their health. This, in turn, raises morale. After all, no one likes to work in a dirty or messy environment.
Dust extraction companies can also supply other workshop equipment necessary and helpful to businesses, such as spray booths, downdraft booths and tables, and blow-off units for de-dusting personnel.
These companies also carry out LEV or local exhaust ventilation testing and servicing, which is necessary every 14 months for any business with installed systems.
For something as seemingly simple as dust, there are a surprising amount of problems it can cause. It is necessary to have good dust extraction to remove fumes as well as potentially hazardous particles.
If you ignore this area, you increase the risk of slips, fires, plus skin and eye irritations. In the long-term, repeated exposure to dust could lead to work-related severe lung diseases.
A dust-free, well-ventilated workshop leads to clean air and happy, healthy DIY enthusiasts and commercial workers.