Metalworking fluids play a vital role in the machining industry. In fact, between four and 20 liters are used every minute to maintain a substantial flow in the metal removal process.
Over 1 million employees are exposed to metalworking fluids in the machining industry and it's important that these same employees know how to properly handle them. Without correct handling, employees can suffer from a number of respiratory and skin problems.
What are the health concerns associated with metalworking fluids?
Metalworking fluids, oil solutions, and specialty lubricants are used to prevent corrosion, remove metal chips from tools, lubrication, and cooling. Ergo, it isn't too surprising to learn that contact with these fluids may result in skin irritation and respiratory illness.
The most common skin condition reported upon contact with metalworking fluids is contact dermatitis. Symptoms of this illness include blisters, itching, and burning.
Respiratory problems are also reported in those who inhale the fluids. Common problems include bronchitis, asthma, and lung irritation.
How are employees exposed to metalworking fluids?
Employees can avoid these adverse health problems by reducing direct exposure to metalworking fluids. This is typically done through proper ventilation in the workplace, utilizing machine enclosures, and proper metalworking fluid maintenance.
It's also important to provide your employees with proprietary information and safety procedures. If your employees are unaware of the proper procedures to prevent exposure, you're not only putting your employees at risk for health problems but also risking workers compensation suits.
How can my workers work safely with metalworking fluids?
Be sure to obtain Material Safety Data Sheets from your Castrol distributors or oil wholesale distributor to know exactly what precautions you need to take with the metalworking fluids you're using.
From there, obtain any other technical bulletins to provide your employees with additional safety information. Finally, have your workplace apply exposure control measures to reduce the risk of skin and respiratory problems.
Metalworking fluids are a necessity in the machining industry, which is why it's so important that your employees know how to handle them safely. To learn more about the precautions necessary for your metalworking fluids, contact the Brayco and Castrol distributors at Santie Wholesale Oil Company today.