If you are in an industry where the work environment can prove to be dangerous, chances are, you already own a dust collector. Mining and processing as well as construction companies make use of dust collectors to clear the air of dangerous particles to protect the health and wellbeing of employees. These dust collectors collect fumes and dust produced by industrial processes, improving the air quality. However, did you know that if you fail to properly maintain your dust collector, they may end up causing accidents in the workplace, making it dangerous to use.
In this article, we list out some precautions you need to take to safely operate your dust collector.
Install Safety Monitoring Filters
If your dust collector enables the recirculation of air into the workspace, always install safety monitoring filters. This ensures that you are well prepared if there is a leak in your collector’s primary filtering system. These safety monitoring filters will act as secondary air filters in such an event, to prevent the collected dust and fumes from re-entering the workplace.
Clean Filters Regularly, But Do Not Overclean
As most industrial dust collectors work hand-in-hand with the filter, the device can malfunction if the filter gets clogged due to lack of cleaning. To this end, you need to choose the appropriate pulse-cleaning controls for cartridge cleaning. There is a number of differential pressure settings you can set your collector to, which will depend on the nature of the dust and fumes in your industry. For porous dust and lightweight dust, continuous cleaning is recommended. However, make sure that you do not overclean your filter as it can lead to higher energy costs and shorten the lifespan of your dust collector in the long run.
Equip Your Collector with Deflagration Protection
If you are in an industry where combustible dust is a concern, you must ensure that your dust collector is equipped with deflagration protection. One of the common solutions is venting, where the collector is fitted with an explosion vent. This vent opens automatically when a certain pressure is reached, releasing the flames and excess pressure into a safe area. They also help to prevent dust collectors from blowing up during the process of deflagration, protecting your workers from accidents.
Protect the Ductwork with Dampers and Isolation Valves
To take deflagration protection one step further, it is recommended to equip the ductwork with dampers and isolation valves. When deflagration takes place, isolation valves protect the downstream components from catching fire due to its pressure and flame propagation. This prevents the flame and smoke from traveling upwards. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that all ductwork be fitted with adequate protection.
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