Dangers of Combustible Dust for Wisconsin Industries
Preventing Explosions with Industrial Highlight Cleaning Services
Combustible dust is a major threat in the industrial workplace. Many materials which are otherwise not combustible can produce dust which is, leading to accidental explosions and worker injury or death. Air Quality Controllers offers industrial vacuuming and overhead highlight cleaning services to reduce the amount of dust in your facility for a safe work environment.
Why Is Combustible Dust Dangerous?
Lightweight dust particles are easy to miss during traditional cleaning. Air ducts, support beams, light fixtures, and other crevices are all capable of collecting and hiding dust. Any fans or other ventilation systems can spread smaller particles throughout your facility, beyond the factory floor. Dust is light enough to be suspended I the air before settling, creating a potentially deadly atmosphere.
As well as being a risk to your workers, your machinery, equipment, and facility are in danger from combustible dust. Fine dust can settle into the groves on machines, clogging up inner mechanisms and breaking them. Powerful explosions from dust have destroyed entire buildings. Rooves collapse and walls buckle in from the force, adding to the risk of employee injury during evacuations.
Primary and Secondary Dust Explosions
One of the main dangers of combustible dust is the potential for secondary accidents from a dust cloud. A primary dust explosion is caused by ignition to a settled pile of dust, such as a spark landing on particles in a floor vent. The fire from this explosion can light any suspended dust particles, creating a second explosion. It is these explosive dust clouds which spread the most damage.
A smaller explosion or open flame can act as a catalyst, igniting airborne dust and causing a much larger and deadlier explosion. All it takes is single spark to cause entire factories to go up in flames.
How Can I Prevent Dust Explosions?
Dust explosions are preventable when proper safety precautions are taken. This includes regular cleanings to reduce the amount of dust within your facility. Simple sweeping or vacuuming may actually cause the dust to spread, which is why professional cleaning teams such as Air Quality Controllers are recommended for safe dust removal. Our team will clean air ducts and overhead highlights in your facility to reduce the chance of dangerous dust explosions.
Control all ignition sources within your facility to prevent accidental lighting. Anywhere dust can accumulate should either be removed or checked on a daily basis to prevent buildup.
Workers should be informed of the dangers from dust. Removing dust from their clothes after a shift is vital for their safety, as even a lit cigarette can cause enough of a spark for combustion.
Which Products Create Combustible Dust?
Food Production: Animal feed, candy, flour, grain, spice, starch, and sugar production
Metals: Aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium, and zinc production
Other Materials: Chemicals, dyes, fabrics and textiles, fertilizer, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, plastics, rubber, and wood including paper and pulp
If your facility regularly works with any of the above products, arranging a cleaning with Air Quality Controllers will help prevent dust accumulation and the chance of combustion. Workers in these industries should take special care to remove dust from their clothing before and after shifts.
Contact Wisconsin’s best industrial overhead highlight cleaners today at Air Quality Controllers to receive a quote now.