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This month’s round-up of occupational health research includes studies on ventilation and 3D printers and disclosing mental health problems in the workplace.
Ventilation and 3D printers
Tabletop 3D printers emit nanoparticles into the indoor air, according to this study by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. The report adds that, although it is not harmful to print in 3D every once in a while, the emissions 3D printers produce should be recognised and attempts made to mitigate them in places where people are exposed to printing on a daily basis. Raising the temperature used to extrude the thermoplastics in 3D printers increases the emissions significantly.
Research scientist Anna-Kaisa Viitanen said: “Exposure can be reduced by acquiring an encased printer that has been designed with emission management in mind, by avoiding staying in the same room with a printer for longer periods of time or, most reliably, by directing the emissions out of the indoor air… We also need to be careful with the printing materials and only use the plastics that have been designed for the particular purpose.”
Good ventilation should be ensured when using tabletop 3D printers
Disclosing mental health problems at work
Only 35% of employees who have experienced mental health problems talk to their managers about the issue, according to research from consultant, Willis PMI Group. The main reason employees do not disclose mental ill health is out of fear that job security and promotion will be jeopardised. One third are concerned that they would not receive adequate support if they disclosed mental ill health, while just less than 30% are concerned that managers would not understand the illness. Mike Blake, director at Willis PMI Group said: “mental illness remains an incredibly delicate subject and one that requires urgent attention from employers in order to better manage staff wellbeing and sickness absence… The proper recording of sickness and absence related to mental health is a crucial first step in tackling the problem, but this can only happen if staff are assured they can report issues in confidentiality and without judgement.”
PMI Health Group