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).
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.
According to statistics from the HSE, around 12,000 people in the UK die from dust inhalation related to exposure in the workplace every year and hazardous industries need to improve the working environment. While regulation is being tightened to improve working conditions, it is also the threat of legal claims that is focusing attention for managers, board members and shareholders alike.
Safety regulation across the globe has become ever more stringent as authorities have recognised the dangers associated with working in hazardous dusty environments. From mining to tunnelling and manufacturing, hundreds of thousands of individuals are working every day in high dust environments, and therefore at risk of inhaling potential health damaging toxins.
The mining and industrial workplace has continued to undergo a transformation during the last 12 months as technology plays an ever more crucial role both in employee safety, and boosting production and workflow.
Heading into 2018, there are a number of key areas which bosses and workforces should be looking at and here, Glyn Jones, CEO of Trolex Group, looks ahead to identify what will be the biggest changes and what new technology will have the biggest impact on the mining sector in the new year.