I’ve been in a few ugly mould sites as an insurance adjuster. At first, I wore no protection at all. It was usually a week or two after a summer rainstorm that I would find my self in a soggy basement. The building sat wet since the storm and for a week or more and began to smell. I’d spend about an hour walking, talking, sketching measuring and taking photos. On the way home, I’d rub my eyes or have a scratch in my throat but nothing a drink wouldn’t cure. I’d wash my face and hands if I thought of it and then sit down for dinner. Over the next few years, after spending time in mould sites, recovery was slower. I realized it was time to pay attention.
There is mould in the corn this year. It can enter your body through your eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Those handing corn are exposed to toxic moulds such as gibberella zeae and fusarium graminearum.
We need to protect employees and ourselves against mould. Proper Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) should include coveralls, gloves, earplugs, a respirator & safety googles. A ½ mask, covering the nose and mouth is better than nothing but I can hardly breathe when wearing one. PPE should be comfortable or we will take it off.
My best experience was wearing a full face, powered and supplied air respirator. Breathing was easy with full protection for eyes, nose and mouth. It was easy to use and comfortable. I felt just as healthy leaving the job as I did going in. Health and Safety should be our first thought in any task. We need to pause and consider risks within the workplace. Knowing the risk allows us to reduce or eliminate it.
Please take care.
Dave Colyn, Manager of Claims Trillium Mutual Insurance