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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

How Dangerous is Dust?

Metal and wood dust may seem harmless, but under the wrong circumstances, dust can cause catastrophic combustible events.

When dust settles on surfaces or hangs in the air, it is more likely to encounter an ignition source. The right amount of heat, oxygen and dust dispersion can cause a deadly explosion.

Can Dust Affect My Health?

Dust can also affect workers, irritating the eyes and respiratory system. Certain types of dust, like silica, have been known to cause cancer and chronic illness.

A Miami Valley Polishing plant was cited several times by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for failing to protect its workers from dust and other workplace hazards.

According to OSHA’s report, the polishing plant lacked proper controls to minimize dust exposure for workers polishing metal parts. Management also failed to establish a written respiratory program for employees using dust mask respirators.

Miami Valley Polishing received another citation for electrical hazards, pertaining to an energized 120-volt circuit panel that was missing a cover. The exposed wiring could have electrocuted a worker, or even worse, ignited the floating dust.

The citations amounted to more than $50,000, but that is a fraction of the cost of a dust explosion. Then, management could be faced with substantial repair bills, in addition to numerous workers’ comp claims and loss of productivity.

If your employer is forcing you to work without the proper safety equipment or training, your rights are being violated. Call Larrimer & Larrimer today to discuss your workers comp claim with one of our licensed attorneys. We can give you the knowledge you need to fight back.

[Did You Know: There were about 280 dust explosions and fires of significance between 1980 and 2005.]

Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys


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