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Tackling the dangers of dust

08 June 2016

Approximately 12,000 people die of occupational respiratory diseases annually, two-thirds due to asbestos-related diseases - in fact, about 20 tradespeople die each week from past asbestos exposure (source: HSE).

Respirable airborne hazards - from asbestos to hardwood dust - are the hidden threats that the Harley Scientific Fibrecheck (HS-FC6) is designed to tackle.
Shortlisted in the 2016 BSIF Safety Awards for innovation, the technology behind the HS-FC6 is world-leading. Typically, fibre levels are sampled manually, but the HS-FC6 delivers effective real-time measurement of dust and fibres - including those respirable particles which cause so many occupational health problems - in a robust, compact and affordable unit.

The presence of an HS-FC6 on site will help to drive compliance with working methods - H&S and site managers, and even the HSE can audit fibre levels from across a period of time, so ‘shortcuts’ in dust management cannot be hidden. Perhaps more importantly, the HS-FC6’s visual record and audible ‘beep’ provide ongoing reminders of the presence of airborne hazards. The long latency of respiratory diseases and the fact that the most dangerous respirable fibres are invisible means the risk often goes unnoticed, but the HS-FC6 could change attitudes and encourage individual compliance with working methods, protecting workers’ health for years to come.