For employers nationwide, the importance of occupational health and safety precautions is becoming increasingly clearer as lawsuits related to workplace negligence continually crop up. The risks posed to workers in industries like construction and building maintenance are numerous; one particular area of concern for employers and their staff is the potential for exposure to hazards that can lead to serious illnesses and diseases.
The International Labour Organization cites the following occupational diseases as well-known health threats to industry-specific employees in their “Introduction to Occupational Health and Safety:”
- Asbestosis – caused by asbestos and commonly found in insulation, roof shingles, and floor tiles, in addition to automobile brake linings, transmissions, and clutches.
- Silicosis – caused by silica, a respirable dust that workers engaged in construction, sandblasting, and mining are often exposed to.
- Lead poisoning – caused by lead, and found in manufacturing buildings like battery plants and paint factories.
Though most employees in fields like construction and automobile upkeep are required to wear uniforms on the job to protect them as much as possible from the dust, fibers, and chemicals that they encounter on a daily basis, it doesn’t help that they often also have the task of wearing and washing their gear laden with disease-causing substances at home.
When employees in these industries mingle their work clothes with their other laundry at home, they are exposing themselves and their families to not only the aforementioned diseases, but other grave health issues. Below, refer to some additional facts about the hazardous materials asbestos, silicosis, and lead poisoning:
- Asbestos has been linked to causing lung cancer and mesothelioma.
- Silicosis is irreversible but preventable.
- Silica is also connected with the onset of lung cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis, and airway diseases, and may be associated with the development of autoimmune disorders, chronic renal disease, and other adverse health issues.
- Workers exposed to lead often take the substance home on their clothes, skin, hair, tools, and in their vehicles.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises all workers at risk for developing conditions caused by asbestos and other harmful substances to wear Chemical Protective Clothing (CPC) that should be removed at the end of the designated working time and placed in “nonreusable, impermeable containers for storage [and] transport…until provision is made for the removal of [the substance] from the clothing” (Source).
Lord Baltimore Uniform can provide those provisions with our uniform rental service, which includes the transport and cleaning of clothing in our green laundering facilities. Prevent the problem of occupational diseases by reducing employee exposure to the harmful chemicals and substances that cause them through professional cleaning and decontamination.