Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

OSHA and NFPA encourage the use of industrial vacuums

April 6, 2010
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) highly discourage the use of sweepers and blowers in the removal of potentially combustible dusts because their use increases the risk of an explosion, according to Manufacturing & Technology.
Because industrial vacuums remove dust instead of redistributing it, which increases combustible dust hazards, OSHA and the NFPA recommend their use in dust control programs, the story stated.
David Kennedy, general manager for VAC-U-MAX''s vacuum cleaning division, said: "It can sometimes be tough for facilities. They may have gotten approval from the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) but OSHA can still come in and fine them if they deem that the facility doesn''t meet up to combustible dust standards."
OSHA is making a concerted effort to increase the awareness of combustible dust hazards because of the over 1,000 inspections completed, only 18 to 22 percent of the facilities were in compliance with OSHA requirements, the story noted.
While industrial sweepers do remove some dust and debris, lessening the chance for dust accumulation, OSHA and its Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP) recommends the use of industrial vacuums in Class II Division II areas to significantly reduce combustible dust hazards, the story added.
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