What precautions should be taken when removing steam, fumes, dust and other contaminants?
Employees should be protected at all times from inhaling of steam, fumes, dust and other air borne contaminants in the workplace.
Suggested methods of control to protect employees are ventilation, filtration, and/or mechanical extraction.
Where practicable, contaminants that occur in the course of any work process should be removed at source.
If mechanical extraction systems are used, they should ensure contaminants are pulled away from the breathing zone of the workers and not through it.
Where elimination or isolation of the hazardous substance is not practicable then minimisation is necessary. This requires that any steps taken must minimise the effect of the steam, fume, dust or contaminant on the employee. The following should also be undertaken when a hazard's effects are being mnimised:
- The employee’s exposure to the hazard should be monitored
- The employee’s health in relation to the hazard should be monitored (with their informed consent)
- Suitable personal protective clothing and equipment (eg: respiratory equipment or dust masks) should be provided to the employee, and their use ensured.
Further information on this subject can be found in the Department of Labour publication Guidelines for the Provision of Facilities and General Safety in Commercial and Industrial Premises.
Date Modified: Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Disclaimer: The content on this website covers common problems. It will not answer every question
and should not be used as a substitute for legislation or legal advice.State sector employers
and employees may be affected by some differences in the laws that apply to them (e.g. State
Sector Act 1988).The Department of Labour takes no responsibility for the results of any actions taken
on the basis of information on this website, nor for any errors or omissions.