The Value of Clean – The Benefits of Dust Reduction

Improve Your Bottom Line Where You Haven’t Looked Before

The negative health effects of dust borne contaminants like asbestos or coal are well known and well documented, however, in recent years there has been an increased awareness of other dust related diseases. Illnesses such, asthma, allergies, a variety of respiratory illnesses, even cancer, can occur at much lower exposure levels.Even if no dust is visible there may be dangerous amounts present. If it is not removed from the environment, dust can float through ambient air and reach areas far away from the original source. Even environmental exposure to dust not directly caused by occupational practices can cause temporary and permanent disabilities, and contribute to chronic illness.

Lost time due to illness has a significant impact on the economy; employee absenteeism costs the Canadian government $16.6 billion a year.2 Chronic illness also financially burdens the health care system and impacts the production and quality of goods. According to the ISSA3 dust exposure causes a 2-6% reduction in cognitive abilities and negatively affects skills such as typing, math, logic and reasoning, memory as well as creative thinking skills. Cognitive performance is critical to productivity and preventing dust exposure can contribute to a more productive workforce. Luckily, there are low cost preventable measures that can be taken.

The World Health Organization suggests maintenance and cleaning procedures be examined regularly, and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety states good housekeeping is one of the most effective preventative measures you can take.4

A comprehensive cleaning program is an effective, low-tech, low-cost solution for the prevention of dust exposure, and dust related illness. It will effectively increase your company’s productivity and, in the long-term not only save you money, but make you money.

To learn more about how cleanliness can improve your bottom line, come back next week for the sixth instalment in our series, “The Value of Clean Series – Flu Prevention”.


World Health Organization
Conference Board of Canada
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

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