Jay Gervasi, P.A. Attorney at Law
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Dust more than just a mess in industrial workplaces

There are many factors that contribute to a dangerous industrial workplace. In addition to heavy equipment made up of multiple moving parts, by-products of the items being manufactured can pose problems as well. An issue that affects many industrial plants, undoubtedly including some in the state of North Carolina, is the presence of dust.

Dust can be found in a variety of industries including: pharmaceuticals, auto manufacturing, furniture and metals. While many think of it in terms of something that makes a mess, its presence can be much more dangerous. For instance, under certain circumstances the presence of combustible dust and aerosols can lead to explosions. In other situations the inhalation of dust particles by workers can lead to health problems such as congestion, headaches and chronic issues with ones upper respiratory system.

Recognizing the presence of dust in workplaces poses hazards, the federal agency responsible for workplace safety, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has created guidelines regarding levels of dust which workers can be exposed to. Employers can make sure that those guidelines are being met through methods such as using a high-efficiency filtration system to removed dust from the air.

Most employers would likely find these types of systems are worth it. They help keep workers healthy removing the need to make workers' compensation payments and by meeting safety standards keep OSHA levied fines at bay. In addition, a lack of dust in the air is beneficial to industrial machines as well. This could keep production running smoothly leading to a greater profit.

Source: Plant Services, "Deadly dust," Mike Bacidore, Jan. 23, 2013

  • Our firm handles similar situations to the one discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our North Carolina industrial injuries page.

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