“When people ask what our company do, it is usually out of politeness and a glassy eyed stare is returned as soon as dust extraction or pneumatic conveying is mentioned,” says APS UK’s Kayleigh Radburn. “However, the truth is that APS UK undertake vital work which does help save lives in the manufacturing sector."
In 2020 everyone became more aware of the cleanliness of the air that is breathed- due to the possibility of coronavirus contaminated water droplets- but the cleanliness of the air breathed in has always been APS UK’s job.
Every year thousands of British workers contract occupational lung diseases such as occupational asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Many people die or are permanently disabled by these conditions.*
These diseases develop from breathing in airborne contaminants at work such as dust or fume from a wide range of industries such as woodworking, welding, paint-spraying, foundry work, pharmaceuticals and bakeries/food.
This is where APS UK comes in. APS UK designs and installs local exhaust ventilation systems (LEV) to help employers effectively control their employees’ exposure to airborne contaminants produced in the manufacturing process. APS UK works with employers and their employees to identify how hazardous the contaminant is, advise what the exposure levels need to be reduced to, and design and install an engineering control that effectively manages this.
However, just because a company has an LEV, it doesn’t mean it’s effective. Many workers are affected because the control measures their workplace has in place are no longer working well enough. If a company has an LEV system then as Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) and HSE HSG258 state, they must be examined and tested at least every 12-14 months to ensure they remain effective.
APS UK has competent engineers who are P601 and P602 qualified- a British Occupational Hygiene Society standard, who can test your LEV system to ensure it is correctly installed, suitable and correctly maintained.
Ultimately then, APS UK's work in dust extraction may not initially sound the most interesting, but when HSE report that each year there are an estimated 17,000 new cases of self-reported “breathing or lung problems” caused or made worse by work** – then you realise that they are making a real difference in the manufacturing sector by helping to look after the wellbeing of the workforce.
*Controlling airborne contaminants at work: A guide to local exhaust ventilation (LEV) HSG258 (hse.gov.uk)
**Work-related asthma in Great Britain 2020 (hse.gov.uk)