Cleaning was the most difficult part of this experience. Amid the grinding and groaning noise of machines, we had to shout at other’s ears to be heard. It was a hot summer day in the humid factor. We sweated away in the dusty air. Even opening our eyes was unpleasant. A gentle sweep of the broom stirred up plenty of dirt and dust. After we finished sweeping the floor, our faces were dusty, and our bodies were itchy and with tingling pain. Fortunately, the owner’s wife reminded us to wear masks and told us to take a hot shower at home to relieve the itchiness. The hot shower did work. This less-than-one hour experience taught me how this seemingly simple industry is far from simple.
Once we arrived at the factory, we grabbed the bamboo brooms and dustpans to sweep the floor. Dust flied around and particles kept attaching our eyes. The dusts also caused dryness and itchiness on the skin. Our lower backs hurt because we needed to bend over for sweeping. There were constant roaring sounds from the machines too. I think this environment may cause mental and physical stress over time. However, Fenggu Company’s owner never gave up and remain committed to contributing to this land. This is admirable.
We went to Fenggu Company today to learn how they clean up the buildup of rice husk dusts. We had to put on masks before we started sweeping the floor. The first-hand experience was a great lesson as it taught us how hard their work is. Machinery operation and floor sweeping are both demanding. A gentle sweep with the broom stirred up a large quantity of dust and covered my body all over. I do not think allergic people can handle this well. It got me itchy and my hair and body was covered with rice husk dust. Fenggu Company needs not only to look after the safety of our food but also the tidiness of their facilities. It is hard work.
We went to the factory to help with floor cleaning. I was amazed at how much dust got stirred up by a gentle sweep with the broom. Some spots needed extra efforts to clean up. The floor gets dirty after the drying of each batch. It is important to put on a mask to avoid inhaling the dust. The dust is also irritating to skin by causing redness and itchiness. The sweeping should be done gently; otherwise, the dusts will fly around and cause itchiness.
I always thought floor sweeping was a piece of cake until today. I realized how difficult it is when I tried to sweep the floor amid flying rice husk dust. With the noise from nearly ten giant machines working in the factory, we could barely hear each other. We needed to shout just to be heard. I cannot imagine how demanding it is to work in this environment. The constant noise and the floating rice hulls are both annoying. It is difficult to breathe and the skin gets itchy. I am impressed with the employees who toil away in the factory every day.
We went to the factory during the second harvesting season to assist in cleaning up. With the machines running tirelessly and loudly onsite, we could not hear each other well. In fact, the environment was somewhat irritating. The floor was covered with dust, fine debris, and a few twigs from the rice drying process. We grabbed brooms to remove the spider webs at the wall corners and clean up the dust on the floor. My eyes occasionally experienced dryness caused by foreign objects and I could not help myself from rubbing my eyes. As we swept along, the skin got itchier and the tingling pain became more noticeable. We were only there briefly to help out. What those employees need to accomplish each day must be a lot more demanding than what we experienced today. I do not think I can fully comprehend the level of discomfort and hard work involved.
On November 5th, we went to Fenggu Company to clean the floor. We tidied up the rice hull dust falling from the drying process. It is necessary to put on masks to avoid inhaling too much dust. Whilst we were sweeping along, the surrounding dryers were also running. Doing this for a long time will be a huge burden on the health. Some dust will inevitably enter the lungs and the eardrums can be damaged by the machine noise. There are five types of huge machines operating in the factory, and the noise level of each type is over 70dB. This experience made me realize how a straightforward task such as sweeping the floor becomes a difficult job here. It is also not good for health.
The moment we stepped in the factory, we were swamped by dust and smoke. It would be difficult to breathe without a mask on, even though it was hot and humid inside. I put on “protective gear” to avoid itchiness caused by dust. A gentle brush with the broom caused dust over all the air. Whilst it was possible to clean up a lot of dust quickly, it was a lengthy process to tidy the floor all up. We only covered a few areas onsite and already binned a lot of dust into the plastic bucket. There would be a massive amount of dust if all areas needed to be cleaned up.
I did not know how hard it is to clean up a rice drying mill until today. It is now the harvesting season and Fenggu Company is in a “war-time” status, with lots of dust around. The dust flied everywhere at a gentle brush of the broom. An allergic person is unlikely to survive here. I now appreciate how hardworking the business owner is. It gets even busier during the harvesting season. Extra help is necessary. I finally know what people say it is not an easy business.
When I was told that we were to sweep the floor, I thought I would be as easy as it is at home. It turned out not the case when doing the cleaning up at Fenggu Company. It was necessary to put on masks in advance. Protective goggles were highly advised. A slight brush with the broom would stir up the dust and make our pants dirty. It was also uncomfortable because we had to bend over to do the sweeping. I really admire Mr. Tsung-wen Chen and his employees. I could not stand it for less than 20 minutes, but they had to sweep the floor all the time. No wonder Mr. Tsung-wen Chen said that doing this business is detrimental to the lungs. Dust is terrible. They are truly working hard!