Air Quality toolbox talk

A simple, 5 minute outline of what to cover in a toolbox talk on Air Quality.

High concentration of airborne contaminants can cause adverse health effects. Poorly controlled dust and odours can irritate eyes and airways, affecting not only workers, but also neighbouring businesses and residential areas. Indoor air quality poses more of a health risk to workers, as there are more potential hazards such as accumulation of dusts, gases, or vapours, which can lead to additional health and safety risks.

Why run an Air Quality Toolbox Talk?

  • Employee awareness
  • The health effects of poor Air quality
  • What can be done to improve Air quality

Factors Affecting Outdoor Air Quality

  • Weather – extreme dry heat and extreme cold and wind chill
  • Air pollution
  • Pollen
  • Forest Fires

Indoor Air Quality Potential Hazards 

  • Gases, vapours, odours
  • Poor ventilation or no ventilation
  • Dusts – e.g. wood, crystalline silica, and flour
  • Chemicals
  • Solvents
  • Bacteria and viruses 
  • Asbestos
  • Moulds or fungi
  • Exhaust fumes – diesel and LPG forklifts
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

How To Maintain or Improve Outdoor Air Quality

  • Store bulk cement and chemicals in silos 
  • Keep surfaces that can generate dusts, wet
  • Low speed limits to reduce dust generation
  • Store fine powders or materials in buildings with adequate wind protection
  • Make sure that suppression systems are working and working effectively on any machinery it is installed on
  • Cover trucks transporting dry materials to and from the site
  • Minimise drop heights into containers or trailers 
  • Ensure any cutting or grinding work is wetted 

How To Maintain or Improve Indoor Air Quality

  • Adequate ventilation (mechanical or natural)
  • Change filters regularly
  • Substitute tools to ones that have on-tool extraction
  • Get your ventilation serviced to maintain correct airflow
  • Vacuum up any dust using a HEPA filter vacuum
  • Keep the workplace clean and tidy

Key takeaways:

  • Poor air quality can affect people’s health
  • There are simple measures to improve or maintain outdoor air quality
  • There are simple measures to improve or maintain indoor air quality

Contact us

  • US  512 846-3011
  • AU  02 5104 6116
  • NZ  09 886 3309
  • EU  +44 20 7193 9657

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