Future proof business
Towards the next level of clean factories
To future proof our operations, we aim to reduce dust exposure beyond current limit values. In our industry, cobalt and nickel serve as targeted indicators as they are representative of the total exposure to substances of concern in the workplace. We currently work with our target to reduce the inhalable fraction of cobalt to less than 0.02 mg/m3 and the respiratory fraction of nickel to less than 0.005 mg/m3 (both as time weighted average) before the end of 2020. This year it is premature to present the outcome so far from our efforts, due to insufficient data, but more measurements will be carried out during 2019.
For priority reasons, the Distaloy® plant in Sweden and the Belgium site have been chosen to identify and develop solutions to reduce dust. Our renewed base line measurements during 2018 include 25 stationary measurements and 27 carry-on measurements that reveal that hot spot areas include sieving, packing and other stations where open handling is possible.
Mitigation of exposure includes technical improvements, such as new dust filters and vacuum cleaners, and more enclosed and automated operations. To date, more than 20 technical improvements have been identified and are under evaluation. However, securing clean factories also includes raising risk awareness, improved ways of working and training. LEAN and 5S (Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain – and an extra S for Safety) are important to achieve and maintain safe ways of working.
A limited number of co-workers are exposed to thermosetting resins, which pose a risk of allergy and asthma. In order to prevent incidents, the co-workers undergo special training and their exposure is monitored.