The Health Impact Dust Collectors Have On Your Facility
Attics, basements, and old books aren’t the only things that accrue dust over time. Industrial facilities require processes involving heavy machines and products, whether they’re bulk solids or powders. For this reason, industrial work environments must prevent dust from filling the workplace every day.
Although newcomers might assume these machines are for keeping the area clean, dust collection systems are much more beneficial. Keep reading to learn about the health impact dust collectors have on your facility.
What Is a Dust Collector?
Before breaking down the health benefits, let’s discuss exactly what dust collectors are. Thankfully, this will be a very straightforward section because it’s all in the name. As the moniker suggests, dust collectors capture dust particles in the air. Although the particles are small, dust collection systems are large filtration units capable of moving large quantities of dust from industrial processes. Now that you know the basics of dust collection let’s dive into the titular issue: the health impact dust collectors have on your facility.
Keeps Air Safe To Breathe
The most notable way dust collectors improve workplace safety is by keeping hazardous particles out of the air. Specifically, these machines eliminate dust particles emanating from your workflow to prevent employees from inhaling them. Unfortunately, as a result, the hazardous materials within workplace dust varies from site to site.
Common industries that rely on dust collectors for capturing harmful particles include pharmaceutical, agriculture, woodworking, and chemical processing. Despite the differences among these industries, each one requires processes that emit harmful particles into the air. Thankfully, a high-quality dust collection machine can help employees avoid significant injuries and illnesses.
Dust Inhalation Side Effects
Due to the significant health hazards involved, if your workplace needs a dust collector, make sure you fully understand the characteristics of the dust that is present. Different products have their own unique set of health hazards. Plus, the length of exposure and the exact amount of dust play a key role in employee health. For instance, coughing and sneezing are common side effects of initial interaction with dust. However, long-term or large-scale dust exposure can result in more significant issues, such as shortness of breath, sneezing, asthma, or cancer.
Minimizes Fire and Combustion Hazards
As you can see, inhaling dust in industrial work environments can have dire side effects. Furthermore, dust doesn’t have to enter your body to threaten your safety. For instance, if enough woodworking dust is present in the air and on your heavy equipment, a fire or explosion can quickly start.
Thankfully, if you have the right fire safety equipment in place, you can combat fires. However, such fires are preventable in the first place if you have a functioning dust collection system. In addition, workplace explosions can result in employee injuries and death, so dust management is a vital part of daily operations.
Beyond putting health and safety at risk, a lack of dust collectors in the workplace can result in other costly problems. For instance, as mentioned above, dust can accumulate on workplace equipment, increasing the chances of combustion. That said, even if a fire or explosion doesn’t occur, dust building up inside equipment can diminish its performance. Therefore, basic cleanliness is crucial for heavy machinery, not just because it keeps the equipment presentable but also because it keeps your machines functional.
Likewise, properly installing dust collectors and eliminating toxins in the air will keep you out of trouble with the necessary safety guidelines. After all, workplaces across the United States have a bevy of administrations and organizations they must consider when planning every step of their operations.
For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) have regulations regarding workplace safety, with air quality and fire hazards prominently featured. To ensure you’re overseeing a responsible operation, make sure your dust collection standards abide by regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and any other organizations relevant to your industry. That way, you can avoid paying hefty fines for creating preventable, dangerous worksite conditions.
Seeking Custom Solutions
Now that you understand how dust collectors impact health, you’re likely wondering how to find the right one for your work environment. Since dust composition varies from facility to facility, you should always seek out a reputable manufacturer who can help you design, build, and install dust collectors with your unique requirements in mind. For example, at DoverMEI, we work closely with clients while designing industrial dust collector machines to ensure the product meets their requirements.
Of course, you should always be careful with who you choose to build your custom dust collector. When you’re investing in such an important device, ensuring you’re working with reliable trained professionals is crucial. So, before hiring a service provider, ask for examples of their past work, looking over it carefully to see whether it fits your standards. Likewise, beyond pictures, you should look into how many years of experience the company has in the industry and whether they have client reviews on their website.
Finally, to ensure your dust collection system meets your requirements, do a deep dive into product characteristics. If you know everything there is to know about the product, that’s fantastic and should make the whole process quicker. However, don’t feel bad if you need to do extra research because, at the end of the day, that extra research is only going to make the machine better. Before wrapping up this topic, let’s discuss a few of the most important characteristics to account for when designing dust collectors.
Some of the most important particle characteristics to consider regarding dust collector design are abrasiveness, density, size, and toxicity. Dust collectors utilize various types of filters, so factors such as size, density, and abrasiveness are invaluable to the design phase.
Unfortunately, if your product is too abrasive or small for the selected dust collection system to handle, you’re not going to get the performance you need. That said, covering all the important dust characteristics with your equipment manufacturer will help you set up a suitable system for combating harmful contaminants in the air. Suffice it to say, that’s a standard any workplace should uphold.