Mechanical maintenance shop workers who use biowashers to clean oily or greasy parts should follow strict hygiene practices (washing hands and wearing gloves) to avoid skin contact with the microorganisms in the degreasing agents used.
This is the recommendation made by researchers who, every two months for a year, analysed degreaser samples from five biowash stations. They counted 60 species of bacteria at various concentrations, including some that are classified in the risk group “moderate risk of infection to individuals, but low risk to the community.”
The study also showed that for these same workers who use biowash stations, exposure through the respiratory tract is very low, even when the stations have a blower to dry the degreased parts. No respiratory protection is therefore necessary to ensure worker health and safety in the conditions studied.
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A plain language fact sheet and an awareness campaign poster on the safe use of biological degreasing stations are also available.