Before you start any activity today, you must ensure that it takes place in a safe and healthy working environment. Because the protection of health and the prevention of accidents have top priority and are regulated in detail in the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Numerous accessories and devices are therefore now an integral part of manual work and help to reduce risks in workshops to a minimum. These include in particular the safe use of work equipment, noise protection measures, load handling and the handling of hazardous and biological substances.
Industrialization requires occupational safety measures
However, companies did not always focus on the health of their employees. The road to occupational health and safety regulations was long and arduous and only really took off in the 20th century. The development was triggered by the sometimes inhumane working conditions in factories, which began with the start of industrialization at the beginning of the 19th century. The new social class of wage laborers that emerged in the course of the Industrial Revolution had to put up with long working hours and low wages. Even child labor was the order of the day, since no special training was required to work in the factories. In addition, workers had no protection if they were unable to work due to an accident at work - with the result that wages were not paid.
More rights for employees at the end of the 19th century
At the end of the 19th century, the first laws were passed that gave employees more rights. In 1883, for example, the Health Insurance Act was passed, which included benefits such as sick pay, medical treatment, hospital benefits and death benefits. Just one year later, another important milestone was reached with the Accident Insurance Act. From then on, this law regulated accident pensions and also provided for medical treatment and accident prevention measures. The employers' liability insurance associations were stablished, to which the employer now had to pay contributions.
Risk assessment at the heart of the Occupational Health and Safety Act
The Occupational Health and Safety Act, the main features of which are still valid today, came into force in 1996. The central element of the law is the hazard assessment, i.e. an analysis of all potential hazards to which an employee is exposed at his workplace due to working materials and tools. However, the Occupational Health and Safety Act also places an obligation on the employee, who is required to use the machines, tools, working materials and protective devices provided by the employer as intended.
Increasing importance of healthy breathing air
Dangers can lurk in many respects during manual work. It is therefore all the more important to take the right protective measures in advance to ensure safe and healthy working at all times. Particular attention is paid to keeping the ambient air clean, as sawing, chipping, planing and welding work always releases dusts and substances that can be harmful to health. First and foremost is welding fume, which can be extremely harmful to the lungs and should never be inhaled. Modern extraction units such as the SRF SmartFil from Schweißkraft are ideal for this purpose, as they enable reliable extraction of the welding fumes and the toxic substances they contain. Equipped with rollers and a 3-meter extraction arm, the SRF SmartFil can be used flexibly at any time and is suitable for medium quantities of smoke and dust. Another practical utensil for keeping the air clean in workshops is an industrial and dry vacuum cleaner, with which you can quickly and conveniently extract any chips that occur. The dryCAT 262 ICT H-Class from CLEANCRAFT is approved for the highest dust class H and is therefore even suitable for extracting hazardous substances such as lead dust, mineral fibers or mold spores. Equipped with a HEPA14 filter, the dry vacuum ensures maximum safety and removes even the smallest particles and suspended matter from the air.
Larger extraction systems are mostly used in woodworking, as a lot of dust is generated here during processing. The RLA 210 PM pure air dust extractor from HOLZKRAFT, for example, is ideally suited for commercial use, offering high extraction performance with a small footprint. The pure air dust extractor works very quietly and is suitable for all woodworking machines with a corresponding extraction nozzle diameter. Also widely used in woodworking stores and in the trades in general are paint mist extraction systems. These are useful wherever painting work is being carried out. The FAG 4 paint mist extraction system from HOLZKRAFT ensures efficient air purification with a high degree of separation and can be used as a mobile unit for various workplaces in the workshop at any time.
Lights, gloves, assembly stool
In addition to devices for keeping the air clean, many other accessories are used today to ensure the highest possible level of safety in the workplace and to prevent damage to health as far as possible. For example, machine lights and welding helmets for optimal visibility and eye protection, welding gloves to protect against burns, and assembly stools for ergonomic work.
Through the use of work equipment and accessories for accident prevention, hazards in the workplace and the resulting health consequences for employees can be reduced to a minimum today. This not only increases the well-being and consequently the motivation and efficiency of employees, but also brings economic benefits for the company. After all, staff and production absences and the search for replacements produce costs that are undoubtedly better invested in a health-friendly design of the working environment and thus in maintaining a healthy working climate in the long term.