Dust: Harmless Or Harmful?

When we think of dust we imagine particles practically invisible to the naked eye floating through the atmosphere, perhaps only making themselves known when a stream of sunlight penetrates our vision. Dust is a fact of life, being that it falls everywhere – unless there’s a vacuum, nowhere is immune.

If it’s around us all the time, at home and at work, surely it can’t do us any harm? If we’re unconsciously breathing it in all day, what harm is it actually doing to us?

First of all, let’s consider what constitutes ‘dust’: dead skin cells, airborne soil particles from outside, tiny fibres from clothing, fur from pets, and dust mites’ droppings. Lovely!

Regular cleaning is a must to stop the dust from settling and ‘growing’ – and by that, we mean bacteria, funghi and dust mites increasing exponentially. Working from the top of your room downwards helps prevent the dust from simply jumping in the air only to settle again higher up. And using a damp cloth is advised when cleaning, so that the dust clings to the cloth and it doesn’t just get moved around.

What about dust in the workplace, though?

Some industries create more dust than others. Whilst most companies incorporate a regular cleaning routine, few arrange regular deep cleans – and these are absolutely necessary if you want a healthy, happy workforce taking few (if any) sick days.

Machines naturally pull in grime when they’re in motion, as well as when they’re stood. Due to their intricacy and many working parts, it’s difficult to extract dust and dirt if you’re not a professional. It’s not just the fear of mechanisms clogging up and stopping production that you should be worried about, but the health and safety of your workforce and the longevity of your premises. Deep cleans are vital.

Whilst a deep clean may sound like overkill to you, consider the danger if dust is allowed to build upon the inside and outside of your machinery. Dust, in concentrated amounts, can be highly flammable, which is a huge risk around electrical equipment. Dust explosions happen; not only is machinery at risk of a dust explosion, but the building too – not to mention any employees in the immediate vicinity.

To help filter the air and reduce the amount of dust coming into the building, architects incorporate ventilation ducts into their plans. Unfortunately, these too can become caked in dust, which defeats their purpose. Regular cleaning of your vents and flues should also be part of your premise’s upkeep and maintenance strategy.

Clean, free-flowing air benefits your employees. When in an enclosed area, working around large pieces of machinery, a poor quality of air could aggravate (or contribute to) employees’ longstanding conditions, such as asthma, allergies and respiratory infections, which may see them absent from work if an episode is particularly severe. It’s clear that cleaner air, with fewer dust particles, would be of benefit to employees’ health, regardless of whether they have existing health issues or not.

Pristine specialise in commercial cleaning. However large or awkwardly situated your machinery/vents, Pristine will extract the build-up of dust and grime with little or no upheaval to your working practices. Visit our website and complete the contact form for a no obligation, tailored quotation, or call 0800 7311 763.

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