Every year thousands of workers suffer ill-health as a result of exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace, with conditions ranging from skin diseases like dermatitis to far more serious and potentially fatal illnesses like respiratory lung disease or cancer.
Many of the more serious ailments related to work-based exposure are only just becoming clear with some diseases taking years - perhaps decades - to manifest and are only now demonstrating the importance of improving work-based health conditions and reducing the exposure to hazardous substances.
An estimated 13,000 deaths each year are linked to past exposure to chemicals or dust when working within an industrial environment, according to a ‘Health and safety at work’ report - that's 35 people a day.
The stats on deaths from occupational lung disease alone show that 12,000 lung disease deaths each year are estimated to be linked to past exposure at work, with 20% of those thought to be linked to exposure to asbestos.
Why this is not higher on the business and political agenda is a question which needs to be raised with new cases of work-related ill health costing the UK £9.7 billion in 2016/17 according to a new report published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Trolex has long been a pioneer in industrial safety technology.
Our 50 years of experience within the heavy industrial sectors has meant creating solutions capable of working in some of the most challenging environments on Earth. Organisations across the world have benefitted from Trolex’s state-of-the-art safety technology to protect workers, resources and their business.
It comes with great pleasure then to announce that Trolex will be the overall event and awards sponsor for HazardEx 2019 – the longest established hazardous area event of its kind.
Health and safety in hazardous environments doesn't just have implications for the wellbeing of operatives, it can also have a serious impact on an operation's finances and viability.
Whether this is due to lost productivity or - in the worst cases - pay-outs after accidents or ill health, being able to identify the health and safety risks within industrial operations is essential.
Thankfully, industrial safety technologies are constantly evolving and improving along with the health and safety policies around harsh and hazardous operations. This means that employees are better protected from the dangers of their working environment.
In this blog, we take a closer look at how industrial safety technologies are evolving, as well as how they are improving health and safety within harsh and hazardous environments.
When people talk about ‘business agility’ industries like mining and manufacturing are not usually first to mind.
But while the notion of business agility has always been associated with lean start-ups and small businesses, for mining and manufacturing organisations, being able to change with the times and embrace new technology to reduce costs and drive efficiency is now more important than ever.
Old methods have to change – and executives across industrial manufacturing are aware of the importance of innovation and business agility.
The mining sector has been in the midst of a market challenge for the last decade thanks in part to falling prices and demand as operations are continually forced to review business plans and cut costs wherever possible.
As a result of this, more operations have investigated how new mining and industrial technology and connected equipment can help drive down unnecessary costs and improve operational efficiency, without increasing risks to health and safety.
A recent report by PwC for instance highlighted that apart from health and safety improvements, technology investment is one of the prime focusses of the main mining operators across the world in the coming years.
In any mining operation, uncharted areas must be investigated and assessed to ensure both structural integrity and complete employee safety.
These areas, however, might be gas-ridden and the use of standard gas detection equipment could be unfeasible if these areas are cramped and compact.
In these instances, mining operatives need a wireless and portable gas detection solution that can provide real-time analysis of the atmosphere, and connect to a mine-wide gas detection system, giving them complete control over operations.
Hauling standard equipment to these sites is time-consuming when balanced against the speed and capability of a wireless, portable gas detection solution, while advancements in wireless technology has meant the use of these portable systems is now much easier.
So, what exactly are the benefits of a truly wireless and portable gas detection solution?
The mining industry continues to treat safety as a prime concern - and rightly so as mining operators strive for a goal of zero fatalities and incidents.
This safety objective however is set against a background of profits being squeezed and the resultant drive to increase operational efficiency. Even if the mining sector has moved on since those days of Haldane and his canaries, one thing that has remained constant is the harsh and unforgiving environment of mining operations. The good news is that those challenging surroundings are being tamed by the application of innovative safety technology.
While mining safety has improved considerably over the last two decades, mining is still one of the most dangerous occupations in the world.
On a routine basis, miners are exposed to a number of serious hazards: cave-ins, floods, gas explosions, wet surfaces, chemical exposure, dust, fumes, moving and falling machinery, and others.
In many instances, individual solutions are in place to mitigate these problems; but as new tools and techniques are utilised in mines, a more holistic and real-time approach to mine safety must be considered.
Despite increases in safety, mining remains one of the most dangerous and hazardous sectors to work in - mostly because of the unpredictable and often confined areas in which operatives work.
One of the major concerns within the mining sector is the integrity of the tunnels and shafts themselves. Effective monitoring is vital to ensure the integrity of the mine and the safety of the workers. Comprehensive strata control and monitoring instruments form the backbone of your mining and tunnelling operation.
Rock-bolting has replaced standing supports such as steel arches in underground mining operations as the best method of supporting and controlling strata. Using this technique has led to significantly reduced costs, greatly increased productivity and considerably higher levels of safety. To support this technique of strata support and control it is necessary to monitor the strata for mine safety.