With winter storms already blowing through causing issues, I can’t help but think about the importance of a clean work environment during these months. As an industrial facility, dust created from the manufacturing process begins to accumulate on the surfaces of machinery, ceiling rafters, floor and even in the ductwork. Unfortunately, many facilities don’t think about high surface cleaning and only focus on the areas that are visible. And although it may seem like the ceiling dust isn’t hurting anything, in reality it is causing numerous problems within the building. So, what dust issues could be causing your work environment problems this winter?
Dust from the manufacturing process gets blown around landing on high surfaces. Vibrations and air movement can cause built up dust to fall and contaminate production areas below. This can lead to higher than expected numbers of quality control issues, or even damage machinery.
Less Efficient HVAC System
Dust is dispersed throughout the facility and over time, is brought into the ventilation ductwork as air flows through the building. The dust will settle in sections of the duct where there is a bend or anything that might prevent the dust from continuing to flow through, clogging the HVAC and making it work harder to move air throughout the building.
Employee Health Risks
Not only do dirty ductwork cause the HVAC system to run less efficiently, but they are the perfect breeding ground for mites, mold, bacteria, viruses, and other poisons that could contribute to Sick Building Syndrome. Mites and mold can cause allergic reactions in some people; bacteria and viruses will spread throughout the building making your employees sick.
Dust Cloud Explosion
As an industrial facility, you produce a lot of dust, and over time that dust collects on machinery, floors, and on high surfaces. Unfortunately, many facilities only think about cleaning areas that are visible and certain types of dusts can pose a fire hazard when they collect in large enough areas. Many secondary explosions in factories have been caused by an explosive dust cloud forming when dust is knocked down from these high surfaces.
High surface dust can create the largest dust explosion hazard and should be a regular part of combustible dust cleaning procedures. Not to mention chunks of this collected debris can enter the ventilation system and clog up the HVAC as well as pollute the air you breathe, causing employees to become ill and lower work efficiency.