Some hazards and risks are obvious. You would not put your hand in an operating blender, for example, and hopefully you wouldn’t put a knife in the toaster to rescue a jammed piece of toast while the toaster is still plugged in.
Other hazards are not so obvious.
When you work at a concrete recycling plant, mine, or quarry, or when cutting concrete or making benchtops, you could be exposed respirable crystalline silica or quarts dust. Exposure may result in Silicosis, a progressive, irreversible lung disease caused by prolonged exposure. Someone with acute silicosis may need a lung transplant, and it may even result in death.
Check out the story of a 27-year-old Stonemason with Silicosis who is struggling to breathe. This news report was posted today – http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/the-kitchen-trend-killing-our-tradies/news-story/91af922c5ee0f6d9d4de502f5ed49073
For a list of tasks and materials that can lead to Silicosis, refer to the fact sheet from the Lung Association of Australia – Silica-fact-sheet.
And here’s a You Tube video on how Silicosis affects your lungs.
How about Q fever? Another not so obvious hazard. Q fever is a bacterial infection which is caught when exposed to animals such as cattle and sheep who are infected. You can acquire Q fever just by travelling behind a cattle truck or visiting a Salesyard. Q fever usually results in a fever in the infected person and may have longer term consequences. And for pregnant women, one study shows that 81% suffer complications such as spontaneous abortion – view the research study here – Q Fever & Pregnancy. For more information about Q fever, check out the Q Fever FactSheet . This You Tube video of Wayne’s story shows how Q fever has affected him.
And let’s not forget the many people who have died or are suffering from exposure to asbestos – while now well known, if you’re not aware of or how to identify asbestos, you could also be exposed.
The point – not all hazards are obvious and you may not even know you are exposed until years later. If you are unsure and have questions, feel free to contact us at Red Insight – the home of insightful safety.