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Regulation 6 of The Workplace Health and Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992 state that effective and suitable provision shall be made to ensure that every workplace is ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh air. Adequate ventilation is very important in the workplace. Employers will take a lot of time to ensure there is enough clean, fresh air circulating around the workplace. Every workplace will have different requirements and procedures for fans and ventilation. Different areas at different times of the year will require different amounts of ventilation. For example, in summer, we will require more air conditioning, and in winter time, more heating. All of these factors can affect your respiratory system and the quality of work time.

When working, it is important that you feel comfortable. It will be easier to work and you will be more productive and also, you are not going to have as much risk of any respiratory problems in making your workplace much safer. If you are working in dusty environments, you may need to wear a dust mask or a respiratory mask. In more extreme circumstances, you may need to put on a complete respirator. When working in enclosed areas or confined spaces, you may need to put on a breathing apparatus.

You can gain training in the use of all of this equipment separately, but the use of a simple dust mask can be hugely beneficial. If it is a hot day and you are using a dust mask, you may find it uncomfortable, but you must keep it on. Dust particles can get lost inside your lungs and cause minor issues from irritations to coughs, or lead to long-term issues that may require a doctor or hospital treatment. The use of masks to prevent problems like dust can arise in all sorts of environments. The main example would be a wood-working factory with lots of sawdust, but it could also be in the office, where you could be cleaning and tidying the top of filing cabinets where there is a lot of the dust or dust from toner cartridges. Dust can increase in loft spaces or in metals factories where fine particles of metals are produced and potentially mixed in with other substances such as oil.

You need to take extreme care of whenever there is a potential for dust, whether it be wood, metal or anything else. To keep yourself safe, wear the correct protective equipment provided by your employer.