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HOW SAFE IS YOUR DUST COLLECTOR
Monday, November 28, 2016
Dust collector safety tips
These dust collector safety tips will help keep your workers safe from dust. It reduces the danger that could be created by combustible dust.
Why should know this in the first place?
Simple! It's because not all dust collectors are the same when it comes to safety. Some can even cause disaster to your workplace.
Although not known to many, dust collectors are highly susceptible to dust explosions. This is especially true if your dust collector has been installed by an inexperienced team. Just take a look at how this dust explosion suddenly engulfed firefighters within seconds.
Luckily, all the firefighters were unharmed. However, it could be a different matter to somebody; especially someone untrained on how to handle these kinds of situations. On severe cases, it can lead to - death.
Do you want to know how much damage dust explosion can bring to industries? Watch this video showing the dust explosion in a grain company at Coshocton, USA.
Seven workers were inside at the time. One was flown to Columbus with burns. Six other workers were taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries. As for the nearby residents, they felt the explosion rattle their homes even if it's up to a mile away.
Who's the culprit behind this explosion? The main suspect - DUST.
So don't take the risk. Better check your dust collectors before it's too late.
Top ten dust collector safety tips
Keep your dust collector safe with these top ten dust collector safety tips. Need more help? Call us at 1300 721 458.
Choose a dust collector with a high vessel strength
First on our checklist is for you to choose a dust collector with a high vessel strength. This means looking at the durability of your dust collector's housing. What is it made of?
Pneuvay Engineering dust collectors are made of thick-gauge metals with very high vessel strength. It can withstand various explosions and can minimise the severity of a blast. At times, it can even continue in service with only some parts to be replaced.
Learn more about our dust collector products here.
Take a look at our wide range of dust collectors
Make your ductwork protected against explosion
Ductwork plays a very important role in ensuring the safety of dust collection systems. Sadly, we tend to give less attention to these. As a result, it becomes more prone to explosion risks.
So how should ducting be applied?
The ducting should be supplied with valves and dampers. These components are to be utilised to minimise the risk of explosion.
Never let dust stay on the hopper for a long time
One thing you should remember is to never let dust stay on the hopper for a very long time. There must be a device attached to it which can transfer dust into a separate container during its cleaning process.
Dust sitting in a hopper creates a potential fire or explosion risk. It may also clog the system and hinder the pulse-cleaning system from doing its job.
Utilise a dust collector which has a safe and easy filter switch
Ideally, workers must not enter the dust collector to change its filters. Otherwise, companies should file space entry permits and check the gas every now and then, right?
So what is the better alternative in ensuring the safety of your dust collectors?
Test the positioning of your filters. Is it easy to access? Can it be taken out without giving workers injuries? Better yet, see if it has an easy filter switch. This would most certainly make your task easier.
Lastly, avoid using threaded connection on filter access doors to eliminate dust build-up. Consider using camlock-style devices as connection instead.
Never use a programmable logic controller (PLC) to control pulse-cleaning of filters
Pulse-cleaning requires very short (usually 150 millisecond) of high-energy compressed air burst to clean the filter surface. Usually, the valve is unable to catch-up with this speed. Therefore, proper pulsing is not acquired.
It is better to use a timer board designed for filter-pulsing instead.
Request a written guarantee of emissions performance from the filter supplier.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Health Safety Training (OSHA) do not care about the percentage efficiency claims from the suppliers. What they care about is the filter emission measurement. This is especially true if the emission follows the standard threshold.
Thus, it is best to request a written guarantee of your filter's emission performance. Make it stated as grains/cubic foot or mg/cubic meter. This is the most appropriate way to check your filter's air quality compliance.
Consider using long-life filters to minimize change-out
Using long-life cartridge filters will reduce worker's exposure to dust. It can also save disposal and maintenance cost. Oh and did we mention it also reduces landfill impact.
We have a variety of filter replacements for your dust collector needs. Call us at 1300 721 458 for more information.
Different kind of high quality dust collector filters provided by Pneuvay
Use proper fire prevention devices or system
There is a wide-range of fire prevention devices available in the market today. This includes but is not limited to:
Explosion isolation equipment
Watch this video to see how our explosion vents work:
Also, using dust collectors with vertically-mounted cartridge filters can reduce fire and explosion risks unlike horizontally-mounted ones.
In horizontally-mounted cartridge filters, the dust does not get cleaned off the top of the filter. This shortens the life of the filter and makes it vulnerable to spark ignition.
Need help deciding how to mount your filters? Contact us, today.
Gear up your dust collector with more safety devices as needed
Safety devices such as:
Caged ladders and safety platforms which are OSHA-compliant can lessen the risk of falls and slips whenever workers need to access the dust collector
Lock-out or tagout doors to prevent unintended door openings