It is a figure of speech. When you can’t see dust. But there are quite a few different meanings or intentions behind the use of this old expression. Risk management experts may have been prompted to make such a statement on more than one occasion, this when they propose to do a dust hazard analysis on behalf of any one of their many commercial or industrial clients. But many people will have said this too.
No, really sir, we cannot see dust! And indeed they cannot. Nor can their health inspector. But he knows a little more than them. That may be why, this time around, he has decided to bring a risk management consultant along for the inspection ride. It is the risk manager who will be holding a smallish hand-held apparatus. He will be using this small apparatus to conduct his dust hazard analysis.
The thing is that dust in the indoor air environment can still be hazardous. All visible dust and debris may well have been swept away. But there is just no escaping the particles that escape into the indoor air’s atmosphere if you will. Those dust particles could still be carrying harmful toxins. These could be making the difference between someone showing up for his shift on time and someone calling in off sick.
He is obliged to call in at the doctor’s to make his stay away legit. But not even the doctor has a clue. Let’s run some more tests is all that he may be able to offer. And let’s try this prescription I’m giving you. Come back and see me in a couple of weeks. But two weeks later and the patient is still not feeling well.