In hospitals across the UK, it is (thankfully) becoming a fairly common sight to see frontline healthcare professionals wearing respirator masks to protect themselves against respiratory viruses and infections.
But did you know that it’s not only frontline staff in a hospital that need RPE?
Hospitals are made up of more than just doctors and nurses.
In any given hospital there are hundreds of other employees that contribute to our care. Pharmacists, scientists, clinical technicians, cleaners, administrators, researchers, estate managers, accountants, morticians, histologists, manual laborers, porters…
While some of these roles may require less patient contact; the people doing them may still need respiratory protection.
A variety of different tasks – such as using strong cleaning products, mixing chemicals in the lab or some estate maintenance tasks – could potentially cause hazardous dusts or pollutants to disperse into the air and subsequently damage your lungs.
Every year in the UK there are approximately 12,000 deaths attributed to occupational lung disease and around 400,000 working days lost due to ill-health caused by occupational respiratory problems.
To help raise awareness of the issue, the HSE have created a series of videos as part of their Go Home Healthy campaign.
In the video above, Professor David Fishwick explains how dust and pollutants created from work activities can lead to life-changing and sometimes terminal respiratory problems.