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Are you working in a safe environment?

Over the weekend I was cleaning my workshop, and putting all my tools back in the correct places. It was during the process I could see a build up of dust in some areas, which got me thinking about “How Safe is Your Work Area”?

We are all aware that all forms of model making causes various degrees of dirt and dust, but how much of that dust do we breath in during our time in the workshop?

It need not be just making models, but just moving things around and finding the next kit to build.

As someone who builds models for a living I spend more time than maybe others in the workshop, so what can we all do to help reduce the risks of dust and improving our health?

Since Covid-19 this is even more important to us modellers, as you could have a weakened lung and respiratory system.

Even if you take care in the work area accidents happen with that odd slightly heavy tool finding its way off the bench and taking aim and somehow always making contact with an unsuspecting foot…!

However its the unseen dust that finds its way into your system that can be a major cause for concern.

Half mask with filters
Half mask with filters

So here are a few pointers to help you work in a safer environment, and save you from an unexpected hospital visit.

  • Keep the room well ventilated
  • Use a good spray booth with an extraction system if using an airbrush
  • Use a reusable half-mask with the 5935 particulate filter
  • Try and use wet and dry abrasive paper kept wet when sanding plastic and more so when working with any form of resin model
  • Set up a dust extraction system at your bench if possible to draw dust away from your work area

Given a symptom of Covid-19 is a sore throat which could be caused by the dust in the work area, so doing a little bit of research of the effects on the body of breathing such particles apparently include:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Aggravated asthma
  • Decreased lung function
  • Increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing
  • Particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter can get deep into your lungs and some may even get into your bloodstream

That final point caused me to stop and think!

Whilst this read may be rather negative, it serves as a warning to take care of yourself, and those around you.

Take simple preventative steps, and enjoy this amazing hobby.