Will Dust Monitoring Technology Be Good Enough To Keep Up With Improved Legislation?

As Improved Legislation is Rolled Out, Will the Dust and Particulate Detection Technology Be Good Enough to Meet It?

Congratulations to the New South Wales Government for the foresight and resolution in driving through new legislation to protect workers from the hazards of silica, coal dust, and diesel particulates.

Speaking to Australian Mining, the state’s Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for resources John Barilaro said, “The decision to fast-track these more stringent standards for coal dust exposure was an easy one and is a great example of mine workers, mine operators and government working together to ensure we have robust frameworks in place to address this insidious disease.”

The legislation, which took effect from July 1st 2021, is hugely ambitious too. The legal exposure limit to respirable coal dust was reduced from 2.5 to 1.5 mg/m3 and respirable crystalline silica from 0.1 to 0.05mg/m3. A new diesel exposure standard of 0.1mg/m3 commenced 1 February 2021.

NSW Leading the Way

 

Compare the New South Wales Government’s to recent legislation in other parts of the world, and you can see how progressive the New South Wales Government has been. For example, in the United States where OSHA reduced the respirable crystalline silica Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) affecting the construction, manufacturing, and fracking industries from an allowable average of 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air over an 8-hour shift to 50 micrograms per cubic meter.

In the UK, respirable crystalline silica (RCS) control measures need only be effective in keeping exposure below the Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL) at the old NSW level of 0.1 mg/m3 respirable dust, averaged over 8 hours.

With efforts underway to determine whether these levels might be made even more stringent, the good work is clearly an ongoing priority.

As The New South Wales Resources Regulator says in its compliance priority January-June 2021 report. ‘With the implementation of the revised exposure standards for silica and respirable dust, and a new exposure standard for diesel exhaust emissions, airborne contaminants was a priority project between July and December in 2020 and will continue to be a focus area.’

Legislation Needs to be Adhered To

 

But it’s one thing to bring new, more stringent particulate exposure regulations onto the statute book. It’s another matter altogether making sure they are adhered to.

For a start, guidance needs to be shared with business owners and operators to help them properly implement effective health control plans in the context of the new regulations.

And what about the technical implications? With legal limits (quite rightly) ever shrinking, how can businesses be absolutely confident that the technology they use onsite to measure exposure to harmful dust and particulates is accurate, realistically deployable and affordable?

With much of the legacy technology on the market anything but accurate, realistically deployable and affordable, clearly the challenge for technology companies is to step up and find new ways for industry to meet these new standards.

At Trolex we’ve been working tirelessly on meeting these challenges for years.

And now we have.

It’s called the XD range of fixed and wearable dust monitors.

You might also call it an overnight 40-year success story, as we’ve turned our vast experience in environmental monitoring in mining and tunnelling, to designing, manufacturing and distributing world leading dust and particulate monitoring technology.

The Trolex Air XD and XD One

 

The Trolex Air XD and XD One Personal Dust Monitor are designed to detect even the finest of particulates.

Fixed and wearable, real-time analysis of your working environment from the XD range giving you a crystal clear understanding of the real particulate threat you face.

Simple to deploy, easy to maintain and super accurate they deliver a practical and affordable way of protecting your workers AND remaining within the law.

Now, whatever the new legislation and however strictly it’s applied, you can be absolutely sure that you have the technology in place to meet all legal and regulatory responsibilities as well as lead a healthy, happy, motivated workforce.

Don’t take chances. Contact us now to find out more about how our new Air XD and XD One Dust Monitoring products – accurate, simple to use, easy to maintain, real-time particulate detection technology can protect your workers in your hazardous environments.

Comparing the XD One to its Competitors

It’ll come as no great surprise – the more hassle something is, the less people want to do it. A simple fact, from technology, to sport, to entertainment, to business, the ‘more trouble than it’s worth’ factor relates to every aspect of life. There’s even a model that represents it. Fred Davis’ 1986 Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) designed to measure the adoption of new technology based on customer attitudes.

The time, the trouble and the expense of ‘high maintenance’ dust monitoring equipment goes a long way to explaining why it has never really been adopted to the scale that workers truly deserve.

Traditional dust monitoring equipment:

– Takes too much time to deploy

– Needs continual fiddly maintenance

– Costs too much money

– Is often too big, too heavy and too fragile

– Is too much hassle

Which is why we’ve worked so hard to develop, manufacture and distribute the Trolex XD One.

The new, easy-to-use, low maintenance, reliable and accurate personal dust monitor – more like a PPE product than a traditional high-maintenance particulate detector or analyser.

The Dust Monitoring Comparison

 

Let’s take a look at the Trolex XD One, in particular its ease of use, deployment and maintenance, against the leading products already on the market.

Let’s see how they compare – or more realistically – how they don’t. Because, as you’ll see for yourself, the advantages of the XD One are so many and so significant that any genuine comparisons are few and far between.

Dust Monitoring Equipment – Ease of Use and Deployment

How easy is the unit to wear, use, and get working?

Trolex XD One: Pick it up. Switch it on. Off you go…and go…and go.

Compared to:

TSI SidePak AM520/520i: Larger and 30% heavier than the XD One. Requires different impactors for different particulate sizes that need to be recalibrated as they’re swapped out. Fiddly tube clipping required.

SKC HAZ-DUST IV: Three times heavier than the XD One at 1.4kg and much larger. Base unit + tube + sampling head clipped near breathing zone with separate filter unit

CASELLA APEX 2: Requires a clean environment and tweezers to handle the filter. Flow meter and calibration adapter kit not included and needs to be purchased separately.

Nanozen DustCount 9000:  Base pump unit with impactors, tube to head unit with filter in cassette and sensor. The usual set-up with the usual problems. Don’t forget to remove the red cap before switching on or you’ll damage the unit!

TM DATA II: Much bigger and 20% heavier.

Maintenance

What kind of burden does the typical maintenance cycle put on the user?

 

Trolex XD One:

– Five seconds for automatic or on-demand self-testing

– 60 seconds of compliance every six months

– That’s it

– Really

– No return-to-base, complex set-up or calibration

– That really is it. PPE for the real world

Compared to:

 

TSI SidePak AM520/520i:

– Recommended annual return-to-base

– Impactor maintenance – 8-step process.

– “Impactor should be cleaned prior to each use.” – TSI website

– Cyclone maintenance – complete disassembly and reassembly

– Separate filter unit required to perform daily calibration check.

– Multiple monitors required to bump test in the field. It is very difficult to generate a known aerosol concentration for a ‘bump test’ in the field without very sophisticated equipment. With use of multiple SidePak Monitors running them side by side…if all instruments are within 20% of each other, they are all functioning properly’ TSI website

 

SKC HAZ-DUST IV:

– 81-page manual

– “Sensor optics to be checked every 48 hours when used in a 2 to 3 mg/m3 TWA environment and on a weekly or monthly basis in less contaminated environments” – 8 step cleaning process using a bespoke kit

– Flow rate must be checked every time a new gravimetric filter Is used – 6-8 step procedure

– Calibration every month as a minimum/when dropped – minimum 11 step procedure

– Annual 3rd party calibration required

– 19 accessories

 

CASELLA APEX 2:

– Annual return to base/or after 2500 hours, whichever is sooner

– Loaded filter or battery voltage reductions affect air flow speed requiring variable flow to be monitored at all times. In-built pressure and temperature compensation, pulsation control, high back pressure and long battery life presented as great ‘features’ of their product when in fact they’re all only necessary because of the antiquated filter-based methodology used.

– Inlet filter to be replaced every 3 months (more often in challenging environments) 4-stage process

– Different filters are required for different applications and this needs to be worked out

 

Nanozen DustCount 9000:

– Recommended annual return to base

– Impactor has to be oiled and cleaned – fiddly with small pipettes of special oil and a 3-minute wait before re-assembling and cleaning with a special alcohol substance

– New filters need to be inserted into the filter cartridge. A screwdriver, clean area and tweezers required

– Pump needs to be calibrated. Separate filter unit required to do this

 

TM DATA II:

– Special calibration kit required

 – Measuring chamber cleaned with oil-free pressurized air or with soft dry brush

 – Light trap covers can be screwed out so that dust particles can be blown out of the light trap

– Lenses in front of the diodes can be cleaned with Q-tip wetted in alcohol

– Internal calibration and zero-point adjustments should be carried out on regular intervals

– Maintenance and repair only by qualified personnel

The evidence is overwhelming – as are the practical advantages.

The Trolex XD One – a device that’s so easy to use and maintain, so useful, that it’s more hassle to NOT use it

And when you start to tot up the cost benefits of the XD One over its competition, it’s hard to know where to start.

– The time saved in setup

– The hours of maintenance saved

– The savings in extra disposable kit

– Improved site performance

– Lower worker absenteeism

– Recruitment cost savings

– Reduced legal and litigation costs

Perhaps the greatest benefit though is one that can’t be measured in monetary terms – the opportunity to prevent your workers from suffering avoidable, life changing disease, and premature death. Priceless.

People Don’t Buy The Best – They Buy The Products They Can Understand The Fastest

 

There’s a well known sales mantra that goes: People don’t buy the best – they buy products they can understand the fastest.

The same principle applies to technology adoption.

People don’t buy the best – they buy products that are easiest to adopt.

The great thing here is that not only are Trolex products the easiest to adopt, they’re more accurate, far simpler to maintain and significantly cheaper to use than anything else in the market. The best.

So, when the question is:

‘How do we best encourage people to use dust monitoring equipment and to keep using it because it’s easy to deploy and easy to maintain?

The answer is as simple as it’s effective.

The Trolex XD One.

Not All Deaths Are Equal – The Biases That Mean Dust Monitoring and Deaths from Dust Inhalation Are Too Often Ignored

Did you hear about the plane crash that killed everyone on board? Your answer likely depends on where you live.

According to researchers at the University of Oxford:

‘English Wikipedia readers were much more likely to read about North American and European crashes, and Spanish Wikipedia readers were more likely to read about Latin American crashes.

Page views on English and Spanish Wikipedia for North American and Latin American aircraft crashes, respectively, were each about 50 times greater than for African crashes.’

The Decay of Novelty

 

And it also depends on when it happened, with Royal Society Open Science, discovering that irrespective of the crash location and body count, ‘on both English and Spanish Wikipedia, page views dropped in half between 3 to 10 days after the event’. The decay of novelty as we lose interest in things when they stop being new.

The Finite Pool of Worry

And then there’s how much capacity you have left to care, the concept scholars refer to as the Finite Pool of Worry.

‘Because people have a limited capacity for how many issues they can worry about at once, as worry increases about one type of risk, concern about other risks may lessen.’ says The Centre for Research on Environmental Decisions.

Proximity. Timing. The competition with other concerns for a limited capacity to impact emotions. It’s a complicated old business – disaster. Its impact, its legacy and even the ways we look at – or away – from it.

And that’s only talking about sudden disastrous events…the plane crash…the typhoon…the attack.

The Slow-Motion Disaster

But what about the disaster that inexorably unfolds? The slow-motion cumulative disaster. Disaster that – over time – takes far more lives than the one off tragedies? Or even a succession of one-off tragedies?

What about:

The 8.9 million people killed by air pollution a year?

The 1 million work-related fatalities annually?

The hundreds of thousands around the world dying every year from workplace dust inhalation?

The millions whose lives are irreparably damaged every year from inhaling dust in the workplace?

As we’ve seen, it’s human nature to focus on more recent, local, high-profile events. Discreet, distinct, storylines.

But don’t the disasters we overlook – the slower moving, less attention-grabbing tragedies that play out day after day – deserve our attention too?

Of course they do.

Which is why we do what we do at Trolex

Which is why we’ve set ourselves this challenge.

“What can we do so that, in 10 years time, every worker in the world exposed to dangerous particulates is wearing personal dust monitoring?

Easier said than done, of course.

Because as well as setting ourselves the task of overcoming the engineering challenge, we’re having to face those natural ‘hidden in plain sight’ biases discussed above.

And not only is the problem of dust and particulate inhalation widely ignored, so too is the priority in finding viable solutions.

Which is the reason we’ve had to privately fund the project every step of the way – from research and development, to manufacturing and distribution. Every penny.

Independently Developed Dust Monitoring Technology

 

Not that we mind. In fact, we’re proud to have independently conceived and created our range of Air XD products. Innovative dust monitoring technology that’s now the envy of the industry.

Products perfectly capable of helping us meet our 10-year challenge, and in the process save many thousands of lives.

Set against the backdrop of Covid-19 and the billions and billions of pounds spent to combat it, the macabre irony hasn’t been lost on us, that worldwide more people have died inhaling dangerous particulates in the last 5 years than they have from Covid 19…

Unnecessary deaths that for only a couple of million pounds backing, our technology could still go faster and further in preventing.

Maybe we should call for a lockdown?





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    The Air Pollution Emergency

    We’re living through an air pollution emergency. One that’s already claiming thousands of lives and costing billions of pounds. And that news shouldn’t come as a surprise.

    I wrote in a recent blog, The Threat From Particulates – It Gets Worse about an American academic study: “Long-Term Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter, Residential Proximity to Major Roads and Measures of Brain Structure.”

    The report clearly shows the risks that people living over extended periods near busy main roads face from fine dust that causes respiratory diseases, results in brain atrophy (brain shrinkage) and leads to an increased risk of stroke and other disease.

    Another academic paper, ‘Air Pollution and Noncommunicable Diseases’ suggests that air pollution may be damaging ‘every organ in the body.’

    Unfortunately there was nothing ‘academic’ about the consequences of particulate inhalation for nine year old Ella Kissi-Debrah, whose death in 2013 was caused by ‘acute respiratory failure, severe asthma and air pollution exposure’.

    “The whole of Ella’s life was lived in close proximity to highly polluting roads. I have no difficulty in concluding that her personal exposure to nitrogen dioxide and PM was very high,” stated the coroner.

    Far From Unusual

    And the really sad thing about Ella and her family’s suffering?

    Is that it’s far from unusual. 

    According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is the “new tobacco”, killing 7 million people a year and harming billions more.

    “No one, rich or poor, can escape air pollution. It is a silent public health emergency.” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general.

    More than nine in ten people breathe toxic air and 300 million live where toxic fumes are six times above international guidelines and the health impacts are profound – especially for children.

    Excuses, Excuses

    So what’s going on? How is it possible that so many people suffer so much through filthy, contaminated air?

    A rush for profits? For progress? For economic advancement? A lack of technology? Insufficient knowledge? Clarity of thought? Understanding? Will? A short termism that prioritised wealth over health? 

    In truth it’s all these factors and more. Reasons, more often excuses, that in the not so distant future people will look back at in horror. A situation where people simply won’t believe that things were allowed to get so bad and stay so bad for so long.

    A Turning Tide?

    Thankfully, though belatedly, the weight of detailed research, visible interventions from the likes of WHO, an increasingly active green movement and high profile tragedies such as the death of Ella Kissi-Debrah are seeing attention at last turning to the issue of air pollution and how best to tackle it.

    So much so that the language of particulates and respiratory health is even entering mainstream use. The government responded to Ella Kissi-Debrah’s death with, “We are delivering a £3.8bn plan to clean up transport and tackle NO2 pollution, and going further in protecting communities from air pollution, particularly PM2.5 pollution, which we know is particularly harmful to people’s health.’

    Which is great.

    But while a public recognition of the issue and an ability to deploy the right words in addressing the issue is a positive sign, it’s the ability of governments and industry to actually do something about air pollution that really matters. Action that all of us will be judged on in the future. 

    Part of the Problem? Or Part of the Solution?

    Signs are mixed. For example, despite the UK Government’s recognition that we all need to be protected from toxic air, and despite pledging funds to fight that cause, it has so far voted against proposals to put WHO pollution limits into UK law, arguing that they’re ‘uneconomical.’

    ‘Were you part of the problem or part of the solution?’ we’ll all be asked in the not too distant future.

    Which is why we do what we do here at Trolex – to be a very proud and purposeful part of the solution. 

    Just take a look at our new Air XD and Air XD One products – accurate, simple to use, easy to maintain, realtime particulate detection technology that keeps people safe.

    Get in Touch





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      The Air Pollution Emergency

      In an ideal world, the risk of dangerous airborne particles simply wouldn’t exist. The proper application of the Hierarchy of Controls, though Elimination, Substitution, Engineering, Administration and PPE would mitigate the threat and make sure that everyone was properly protected. 

      But the unfortunate reality is that many workers still face threats from a wide range of hazardous dust and particulates. From silica, construction dust, fibreglass, wood, asbestos… the list goes on.

      While every stage of the HoC can play an important role in helping to make workplaces safer, it’s the final PPE/RPE stage – the provision of and proper wearing of suitably selected and fit tested respiratory protective equipment (RPE) – that presents the biggest challenge.

      Why? 

      Because too often, RPE fails to provide the protection that wearers think it does.

      IPPI

      Too often RPE is:

      • Inappropriate – the wrong equipment for the wrong job
      • Poorly maintained – RPE needs to be kept in good condition and properly maintained and stored
      • Poorly explained – the employee lacks sufficient training and information on the correct use of the RPE provided
      • Ill fitting – loose fitting or poorly maintained masks with gaps around the edges allows dangerous particles to be inhaled.

      The Construction Dust Partnership (an industry collaboration that helps help construction industry contractors, employers, operatives and others manage the risk of exposure to dusts and raise awareness) says, ‘any gaps around the RPE’s edges allow the contaminant-laden air to pass straight to the nose/mouth and be inhaled into the lungs.’ 

      Did you know beards or stubble can severely impact the performance of RPE?

      ‘If the wearer has stubble where the RPE seals to the face, this will make an adequate seal between the skin and the RPE impossible. A lack of knowledge or understanding on how to wear RPE correctly can often lead to an unrealistic expectation of protection.’

      In other words, people are working with a false sense of security.

      The Paradox of RPE

      There’s nothing more dangerous than thinking you’re safe when in reality you’re not. When, in this case, you’re labouring under the illusion that your RPE is protecting you from harm and all it’s doing is placing you squarely in harm’s way.

      “People are not so good at assessing exposure to a risk,” says risk perception expert Ann Bostrom, of University of Washington. 

      It’s something we’ve seen clearly during the Covid pandemic. Masks acting as signifiers of safety rather than providing genuine protection. 

      A dangerous combination of availability and confirmation bias, the psychology is explained in this Forbes article, drawing comparisons between RPE and seatbelts and citing a report that shows people drive faster and more recklessly when they wear seatbelts. The same applies to cyclists riding less cautiously when wearing helmets.

      So what’s the answer? If industry is consistently failing to apply the Hierarchy of Controls well enough to protect workers, or even worse, lulling workers into a dangerously false sense of security, what can businesses do to properly protect their people?

      The answer is surprisingly simple.

      Personal Wearable Dust Monitoring

      Wear personal monitoring. Particulate monitoring that gives you an accurate, realtime understanding of the dust threat you and your workers face.

      A case of ‘know your enemy’.

      Properly detecting previously unseen and undetectable threat – seeing it as a real danger, not abstract – allows you to properly challenge it. And in the process, your RPE reclaims its proper protective value – a specific, contextual and essential value. 

      Instead of being taken for granted, worn out of habit, ‘just in case’ or ‘because that’s the way we do it,’ RPE transforms from dangerous IPPI to safe APPW.

      APPW

      Respiratory protective equipment that’s:

      • Appropriate – the right equipment for the right job
      • Properly maintained – RPE is kept in good condition, properly maintained and stored
      • Properly explained – the employee gets all the training and information on the correct use of the RPE provided they need
      • Worn correctly – well fitting RPR that prevents the inhalation of dangerous particles 

      Get in touch to find out more about how our new Air XD and XD One products – accurate, simple to use, easy to maintain, real-time particulate detection technology that helps your teams use their RPE more effectively.

      Get in Touch





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        The Air Pollution Emergency

        As if the known dangers of exposure to particulates weren’t bad enough, new research is showing that long-term exposure to ambient air pollution is associated with a far wider range of diseases than previously thought. 

        Not only are 1.4 million people in the UK reporting ‘lung or breathing problems that were caused or made worse by work,’ and 12,000 people dying every year due to occupational lung disease, evidence is mounting to show that airborne pollution also causes dementia, strokes and skin cancer.

        The study, conducted in the USA and first published in the journal Stroke is titled “Long-Term Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter, Residential Proximity to Major Roads and Measures of Brain Structure“

        Examining the brains of more than 900 people over 60 years old, it revealed that long-term exposure to fine dust causes both brain atrophy (brain shrinkage) and leads to an increased risk of stroke and other disease.

        Implications for Business Too

        Not only is this news alarming for those who live near busy roads, it also draws attention to the added dangers faced by those working in conditions, and with materials, they may have previously thought safe. 

        For example welders who, despite now using supposedly less dangerous materials and working in spaces where local exhaust ventilation (LEV) is employed, seem to be vulnerable to a far wider range of illnesses than they might have thought.

        As the report highlighted, even limited exposure of fine dust particles can lead to the heightened risk of cerebrovascular disease and cognitive impairment.

        Benjamin Howell on the Fabricator.com says, ‘at the nanolevel, invisible to the human eye, the concentration of particulate matter can pose a great risk to welders. Studies show that welding fume particles are mostly smaller than 0.1 micrometer, which makes nearly all welding fume particles respirable. They can penetrate deep into the alveolate region of the lungs during inhalation and remain firmly fixed there.’ 

        It’s not all bad news though.

        The First Step Towards Change, is to Recognise You Have a Problem

        By revealing far greater and far wider reaching dangers than previously acknowledged, the new research at least means that the important issue of how best to protect people from damaging particulates is starting to get the attention it deserves. 

        The sheer weight of evidence amassing from the likes of The Journal of Cleaner Production, The British Medical Journal, and Harvard is forcing the hand of governments, regulatory bodies and employers to take the necessary steps to protect not just their workers, but every one of us exposed to dangerous airborne pollutants. 

        And about time too. 

        A Preemptive Strike on Harm

        What if a threat could be detected before it even became a threat? What if you could be alerted to the presence of even the smallest of damaging airborne particulates before they had the chance to damage health?

        Leading H&S expert John Cairns says:

        “The best thing is to detect the hazard before you’re exposed to the hazard. Before you’re exposed to the hazard or a high concentration. You can get the hell out of there, or with the way this new technology works you can set off ventilation systems to clear the area.

        The whole ethos behind the H&S Exec is to reduce the risk to as low as is reasonably practicable. I think the XD One is adding to that – it’s enhancing the safety system.”

        Drop us a message to find out more about our work to help organisations like yours protect your people from the threat of damaging dust particulates.

        Get in Touch





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          The Air Pollution Emergency

          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.

          A Preemptive Strike on Harm

          What if a threat could be detected before it even became a threat? What if you could be alerted to the presence of even the smallest of damaging airborne particulates before they had the chance to damage health?

          Leading H&S expert John Cairns says:

          “The best thing is to detect the hazard before you’re exposed to the hazard. Before you’re exposed to the hazard or a high concentration. You can get the hell out of there, or with the way this new technology works you can set off ventilation systems to clear the area.

          The whole ethos behind the H&S Exec is to reduce the risk to as low as is reasonably practicable. I think the XD One is adding to that – it’s enhancing the safety system.”

          Drop us a message to find out more about our work to help organisations like yours protect your people from the threat of damaging dust particulates.

          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.

          Get in Touch





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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.

            Get in Touch





              Call Us

              +44 (0) 161 483 1435

              Email Us

              info@trolex.com

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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.

              Get in Touch





                Call Us

                +44 (0) 161 483 1435

                Email Us

                info@trolex.com

                Visit Us

                Newby Rd, Stockport SK7 5DY, United Kingdom

                Social:

                6 steps to understanding air pollution in the workplace

                Research released from the World Health Organisation* shows that air quality is still an issue in work environments across the globe. While pioneering dust monitoring systems are being introduced in more workplaces than ever, it’s important that employees themselves champion clean air and revolutionary technology.

                Why should you care about air pollution in the workplace?

                Being aware of the risks at work can help bring about much needed change in many industries. Experts are calling for air pollution to become identified as a separate risk factor in the workplace** so that more can be done to begin monitoring harmful particulates and reduce the chance of premature illness for workers.

                Every employee has the right to work in a place where the risks to health and safety are properly controlled by an employer. However, it can be daunting not knowing where to start when attempting to challenge old workplace habits. It helps for employees to educate themselves on how to implement this in their work environment, whether it be in mining, construction or other heavy process industries.

                How can you reduce the risk of air pollution in the workplace?

                Here are some of the key need-to-know facts and information for employees who want to reduce their risk of being exposed to air pollution in the workplace:

                1. Naturally reduce air pollution by making the change to renewable energy

                Where possible, encourage employers to switch to renewable sources of energy as opposed to fossil fuels and coal. This naturally brings down the levels of particulates in the air and will allow for a cleaner environment.

                2. Know that no environment is too challenging for dust monitoring

                Revolutionary safety technology and dust monitors can reduce risks in even the most polluted work environments. Create safety systems that are unique to your business and the risks from air pollution in the workplace will be lowered significantly.

                3. Protect outdoor workers against air pollution

                Don’t neglect dust monitoring in outdoor areas. Airborne particulates can be found within a 300-metre radius on construction sites which, when inhaled, can damage your lungs and have long-term health implications.

                4. Make sure office workers aren’t breathing in polluted air

                It’s not just manual workers who breathe in particulates and need their workspace monitored. Office workers and other administrative staff who work on or near the site can be breathing in the same harmful air, even from cabins and other portable offices.

                5. Assess and control the risks of air pollution in a workplace strategy

                Even when risks appear minimal, it’s all about control. Implementing strategies means your workforce can be aware of any potential dangers and then act on them accordingly.

                6. Know the facts about air pollution in the workplace

                Around 12,000 deaths every year*** are linked to exposure to damaging substances such as silica dust at work. It’s only by addressing these issues that risks can be minimised in the workplace.

                What progress has been made around air pollution in the workplace?

                The good news is that there are now fewer employers that don’t implement strategies in the workplace where there are increased risks, but there is always more that can be done. With so much awareness being raised about the damaging effects of air pollution, companies are now wising up to the risks, meaning more employees can benefit from a healthier and cleaner work environment – and it’s never too late to learn.

                Read more about how to tackle air pollution in your workplace or find out how Trolex dust monitors like the Air XD  can help you monitor particulate levels and create a safer working environment.

                Sources

                *World Health Organisation

                **Financial Times

                ***HSE