As a manufacturing facility, you produce a lot of dust, and that dust is most likely considered to be combustible! Dust is created from the manufacturing process within most facilities; everything from making plastic bottles to aluminum tires creates this industrial dust. However, they don’t have any sort of dust removal equipment or processes put in place. If they do, it is usually a dust collection system that is too small for the area’s needs, or doesn’t get the collection area cleaned often enough. This causes dust to settle on high surfaces, or back up within the air ducts and ventilation system, which causes health issues and quality control concerns. When this dust is not contained it can create hazardous conditions for workers within the building, and several rules and standards have been put in place outlining the proper way to manage these dust accumulations.
3 Steps To Safety Clean Combustible Dust
Many dust collection systems just blow the dust around and keep it in the air, trying to have it eventually move into a collection area, but these cause hazards by creating an explosive dust cloud and making the air quality lower. Other dust collection systems do actually suck in and filter the air, but this causes dust to settle in the ductwork leading to the collection system. If the collection area becomes full, the dust can begin blowing backwards out of the vents, making the situation worse than before, and in the case of a fire the dust acts like a fuel, letting the fire travel throughout the building.
Use equipment approved for combustible dust cleaning, such as intrinsically safe vacuums and grounded hoses. Contact vacuuming with this type of equipment lessens the risk of a dust explosion during the cleaning process. The filtration system of the vacuums is grounded to provide a spark-free operation.
Using the proper PPE gear is important to the health and safety of the individual who is removing the dust.
Using the wrong methods and equipment to clean combustible dust can be catastrophic. From protective clothing to vacuum hoses, every piece of equipment counts when it comes to safety and compliance.
Technicians should be trained in OSHA’s 10- or 30-hour Safety, Aerial Lifts, Confined Spaces, First Aid, CPR, and Combustible Dust Safety and Awareness.
In OSHA’s Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program, two of the most common citations were improper housekeeping, including combustible dust accumulation, and use of compressed air to blow down combustible dust.
This is why a professional cleaning company needs to come in to remove combustible dust. They will have been provided with the proper PPE, OSHA training, and industrial dust removal equipment.
Need help with industrial cleaning services in your facility? Contact us now to find out how we can help.
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Hughes Environmental technicians are expertly trained in the best methods for cleaning combustible dust hazards and use dust removal equipment specifically designed for combustible dust cleaning.
Hughes Environmental is a National Air Duct Cleaner’s Association (NADCA) certified company who has earned their prestigious “Outstanding Safety Award” every year that we’ve been in business.
Our technicians are trained on the most up-to-date industry standards for cleaning commercial HVAC systems, and are equipped to clean from the point the air enters the system all the way to where it exits.
We are also a member of the National Fire Protection Association, the National Air Duct Cleaners’ Association, and the American Society of Safety Engineers. In addition, our technicians have been through OSHA 10- or 30-hour training and have Council-certified Indoor Environmentalists (CIE) and Council-certified Microbial Remediators (CMR) on staff.