It’s a shocking fact that there are 12,000 deaths* every year in the UK resulting from worked-related lung disease. There are another 18,000 reported cases of breathing or lung problems caused or made worse by work, including asthma, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
There’s also little doubt that effective fume and dust extraction technology would have prevented the suffering of many of the affected people.
Everything we do at BOFA is designed to help our customers make air quality in the working environment as safe as possible, so we are very pleased to lend our support to the new Health & Safety Executive (HSE) ‘Go Home Healthy’ initiative, which takes a much more proactive approach to the prevention of work-related lung disease.
The campaign signals a step-change in the approach of HSE to workplace health. At its core is the re-training of HSE’s 175 roving inspectors to look beyond safety compliance by delving deeper into the health consequences of industrial process control.
In particular, the campaign promotes the role of expertly-designed and installed local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems in removing potentially harmful airborne contaminants. Consequently, there has probably never been a more important time for companies and other organisations to develop strong partnerships with specialist technology providers, such as BOFA, which is a founding member of the newly-formed Extraction Manufacturers and Designers Association (EMDA).
BOFA stands for a ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ and we see this HSE programme as exactly that. This could be a transformative milestone in the occupational health of the nation if we can all work together to take a much more holistic view of workplace safety. This means thinking about fume and dust extraction first and foremost as a people issue rather than a compliance issue.
There’s also plenty of evidence to show that businesses that embrace a culture of workplace safety also reap significant benefits in terms of productivity and brand value. Healthy people are less prone to sickness and are more motivated because they feel valued. An effective and properly maintained LEV system also keeps production lines running more smoothly because equipment is kept clean of contamination.
BOFA encourages all of its customers to take an end-to-end view of their investment in fume and dust extraction technology, offering regular inspection and planned maintenance that goes beyond the statutory 14 month compliance test undertaken by our British Occupational Hygiene Society P601 qualified engineers.
For example, we can:
- Provide routine scheduled compliance factory checks tailored to specific processes
- Run educational workshops for managers and operatives to ensure that installed extraction systems are always used correctly and deliver optimum environmental benefit
- Certify that all extraction technology – not just those systems developed and installed by BOFA – are fit for purpose
Most importantly, ‘Go Home Healthy’ highlights the human cost of ineffective fume and dust extraction.
Everyone acknowledges that prevention is better than cure. That’s why we’ll will be doing everything we can to promote the HSE’s programme of action. Ultimately it’s everyone’s right to Go Home Healthy.
*UK government statistics
If you would like to know more about how BOFA can help your organisation control airborne health risks and improve productivity through proven local exhaust ventilation technology contact us.