2.12 Billion Reasons to Look After Your Staff and Customers

A sign of things to come.

Despite the protests of Johnson and Johnson, who played the indignation card at a “fundamentally flawed trial, grounded in a faulty presentation of the facts.”

The verdict is “[at] odds with decades of independent scientific evaluations confirming Johnson’s Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos and does not cause cancer,” they quibble.

$2.12 billion in damages tells another story.

That’s what a Missouri court ordered Johnson and Johnson pay to women suffering ovarian cancer caused by asbestos in its baby powder and other talc products. Litigation that looks like just the beginning.

Not just for Johnson and Johnson, who now face21,800 lawsuits claiming that its talc products cause cancer because of contamination from asbestos, a known carcinogen,’ but also for the many employers the world over who fail to properly protect their workers from preventable disease.

Preventable Disease

Sarah Jardine, HSE’s chief inspector of construction says: “Around 100 times as many workers die from diseases caused or made worse by their work than are actually killed in construction accidents.”

In the UK alone, 14,000 people a year die prematurely from largely preventable disease caused by the inhalation of dust in the workplace.

Preventable because there’s no excuse for remaining ignorant of the potentially fatal consequences of exposure to dangerous microscopic airborne particles.

If You’re Serious About Running a Business You Need to be Serious About Protecting Your People

While lack of awareness has certainly been a problem in the past, now, with plenty of readily available research, public health messaging and examples of high-profile litigation, there’s simply no reason for companies to ignore their responsibilities,

Especially following new advances in dust measurement technology.

So not only is ignorance (still) an illegitimate excuse, with new technology that provides you and your workers with real-time and highly accurate dust readings in any working environment, so too is blaming a lack of suitable technology.

Put simply, if you’re serious about running a business you need to be serious about  protecting people from the dust dangers that surround them. Serious about both understanding those dangers  and then putting the measures in place to mitigate them.

And as if the moral obligation wasn’t enough, the commercial implications are enormous too – as Johnson and Johnson are discovering.

Link to dust survey blog?

The Cost of Complicity

There’s more to worry about than the obvious bottom line legal costs and compensation. You need to consider the reputation costs in the form of lost business opportunities and even share price, insurance premium hikes, loss of production or reduced output, sickness cover and pay, and the lack of future legal and financial protections. All the many, undesirable and inevitable consequences of being exposed as negligent. The last thing any business needs or wants.

All You Need to Know

Are you still unclear about the extensive danger of dust? Or do you already realise the danger, want to do something about it but are unsure how technology can help you?

Either way feel free to call us or get in touch by filling out the form below. We’ll tell you the many ways that we help businesses across all sorts of sectors, all over the world. Everything you need to know about protecting your workers from the threat of disease, and your business from the threat of litigation – and all its damaging implications.

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    The New ISO Standard 23875 That Will Save Lives

    As any responsible employer knows – a clear threat to the health and welfare of your staff demands a clear response.

    In heavy industry such as construction, mining, tunnelling and manufacturing, the obvious risks to health posed by clouds of workplace dust are increasingly addressed through various precautions and protections:

    • By staff wearing PPE
    • The installation of dust monitoring equipment
    • The application of various dust suppression techniques such as spraying water, or using local exhaust ventilation (LEV) or on-tool extraction.

    Quite right too.

    And with awareness of the dangers of dust increasing, so these protections become more effective as they are applied more extensively across different scenarios.

    Which is great.

    But the readily visible dust, the great plumes of obviously dangerous dust, the recognisable threat that industry works increasingly hard to mitigate – is only a part of the story.

    The Punch You Don’t See Coming

    More dangerous than the dust you can see, is the dust you can’t see.

    The particulates that reach beyond workers benefiting from frontline protection to threaten support and ancillary staff.

    An unfortunate consequence of focusing efforts solely on frontline workers is that too often there are other members of the team who aren’t monitored and protected. Plant and equipment operators working in enclosed cabins for example. They might assume they’re safe but, with microscopic airborne hazards so hard to detect, they’re still exposed to serious amounts of risk.

    Which is one of the main reasons for the introduction of a new international standard for a consistent approach to designing, testing, operating, and maintaining the air-quality systems of operator enclosures – ISO 23875.

    A standard that recognises and responds to the extent of the dangers caused by dust right across a working environment.

    A Universally Popular Standard

    It’s a move that’s been welcomed across the board with Australian Mining Safety Journal and Mining Review Africa writing, ‘the new standard is likely to place a greater emphasis on the air quality inside the cabin than previously addressed.’

    A recent ISO workshop run by Jeff Moredock, Lead at the ISO Working Group advertised that the new cabin air standard will ‘Improve operator alertness, create a safer work environment and increase productivity.’

    Of course the big question is how do you properly assess the air quality in your cabin?

    How can you enforce a new and improved standard if you’re not able to accurately record particulate levels in real time?

    New Standards in Dust Monitoring for New ISO Standard 23875

    Which makes the introduction of new, wearable or in-cab dust detection monitoring technology such as the XD One so timely.

    Low cost, lightweight, easy to use, easy to maintain and 5 times more accurate than other devices the XD One continuously measures every particle from as small as 0.35 to 40μm.

    Issue every operator an XD One and they’re constantly reading the air quality in their immediate environment and instantly alerted to any danger.

    Time you took a closer look at real-time operator cabin monitoring?

    Call us or get in touch using the form below!

    We can also give you more details on how the XD One can help you align with ISO Standard 23875 as well as protect workers across your whole site from the danger of microscopic airborne particles.

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      ‘The Industry Creates This Risk. It Now Needs to Acknowledge it, Own it and Deal With It.’

      The IOSH Construction Group Committee Construction Dust Survey makes for sobering reading. Firstly, it highlights the fact that much more needs to be done to increase awareness of the dangers of dust from an employees perspective:

      “Dust causes a lower level of concern among employees than the more immediately noticeable dangers of construction, such as falls… they do not perceive it as a significant immediate risk to their wellbeing unlike falls from height, equipment etc.”

      It also highlights a lack of awareness from the industry as a whole. Of 618 health and safety professional respondents, ‘44.6 percent thought that the industry gave little or no priority to the issue, and a similar proportion (42.4 percent) felt that it received the same priority as other health issues.’

      And even when awareness exists, the report found that compliance is weak.

      ‘54.0 percent of respondents indicated that workers sometimes fail to follow prescribed methods of work. Over a third of respondents (36.2 percent) indicated that this happened most or all of the time.’

      So what’s going on? Why, even when employers and their onsite teams are in possession of the facts, do they too often choose to ignore the dangers posed by dust?

      Dangers that lead to 10 deaths a week from lung cancer caused by silica dust, let alone the other illness and premature death from other cancers, silicosis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).

      A Cognitive Dissonance

      You’ll be familiar with the concept of cognitive dissonance, ‘the state of discomfort felt when two or more modes of thought contradict each other’.

      Like knowing smoking is bad for you, but continuing to smoke.

      Like, “we know dust is dangerous but there’s no convenient, low-cost alternative to handling the risk – so we’ll stick with what we’ve always done.”

      Barriers to Change

      There’s a lot to learn in the Construction Dust Survey.

      More than anything, it’s highlighted that despite being increasingly aware of the dangers, people aren’t taking action.

      Somehow, industry has convinced itself that the culture and adoption of, the management of, and the cost, complication and general hassle of creating a safe working environment is more trouble than just leaving things be.

      Here are just some of the barriers to change noted in the survey:

      Culture: The culture of the industry, and its ‘traditional’ view of dust as an expected or normal part of construction work, can be a significant barrier.

      Use: Workers often view the controls as cumbersome, impractical, affected by poor maintenance or giving rise to other risks. This deters use. 

      Employees: Implementing controls effectively depends on good management and supervision. Operators generally choose not to use controls. 

      Management arrangements: In general, the industry does not seem to manage dust control issues adequately. Comments refer to a link between the management priority given to this issue and the corresponding conditions found on-site.

      Cost: Dust control is often viewed as labour-intensive, expensive, time-consuming and a nuisance that slows work.

      ‘The industry creates this risk. It now needs to acknowledge it, own it and deal with it.’

      It somehow seems that as awareness increases, industry seems to think a cultural shift towards safer working environments will run its own natural course over time.

      “It is like wearing a hi-vis 15 years ago or hard hats. It took years for the culture to change.” says a contributor to the report.

      Fortunately, we’ve taken a far more proactive approach.

      A Fast-Track Alternative

      What if we could fast track that safer working environment?

      What if that cognitive dissonance could be eased instantly and increased awareness could be achieved overnight? And what if you only ever had to use dust control methods when you actually needed them?

      It’s hard to not be aware of something when an alarm is screaming in your ears and bright lights are flashing.

      Well, here’s the thing.

      A low-cost, simple-to-use, personal alarm would help solve the problem overnight.

      All those adoption and implementation objections, all the excuses and all those barriers to change would evaporate. Instantly.

      And here’s another thing.

      That low-cost, simple-to-use, personal alarm exists.

      It’s new and it’s here.

      The XD One Personal Dust Monitor.

      Call us or get in touch by completing the form below. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about how both products can protect your workers from the threat of preventable disease.

        Call Us

        +44 (0) 161 483 1435

        Email Us


        Visit Us

        Newby Rd, Stockport SK7 5DY, United Kingdom