Vacuum cleaning systems
are the OSHA- and NFPA-preferred housekeeping method for removing dust to reduce dust explosion hazards. NFPA 654 states, “vigorous sweeping or blowing down with steam or compressed air produces dust clouds.” Industrial vacuum cleaning systems not only prevent dust from becoming suspended in air during cleaning, minimizing explosion hazards, but are easy to use and can handle a variety of dust-removal duties.
Despite these standard recommendations, many companies today still use air compressors and brooms to clean equipment and areas of dust and debris. The problem with using brooms and air compressors is that they just blow and move the dust around resulting in small particles that settle onto elevated surfaces. However, more recent technology allows for more effective, efficient cleaning.
Although most companies are not willfully violating the standards, a perception remains that vacuum cleaning systems come with a high price tag. In reality, incorporating industrial vacuum cleaners into a housekeeping routine produces additional cost-saving benefits in terms of increased production, reclamation or wage savings.
With Bedson Reps
, there are many options to choose from in order to ensure that you choose the right vacuum cleaning system for your facility. For safety, ergonomics, productivity and other goals, industrial-specific vacuum equipment must be implemented to address specific applications.
The two main types of vacuum cleaning systems are portable systems and centralized systems.
Portable vacuum cleaning systems typically consist of a collection container that is mounted on wheels that can be moved easily throughout the facility, from workstation to workstation. A flexible plastic hose extends from the container and its free end can be connected to various vacuum attachments (wands, brushes, etc.) or hand tools (sanders, grinders, etc.).
A central system consists of a vacuum power unit with a collection container and is typically installed at one location in the plant. Attachments and hand tools can also be used with this type of system. Central vacuum systems give workers an easy to use tool for quick cleanup of dust and spills.
Dust particles and material accumulations are easily picked up and distributed by air currents within plants and facilities, spreading them throughout and making dust collection more difficult. Suspended dusts on surfaces can ignite and trigger explosions. Dust presents other hazards such as polluted and/or toxic air, buildup on stored finished goods and can also settle on bearings in equipment.
It is vital to be proactive in dust collection. Be sure to choose a partner who can evaluate your facility and determine if a portable or centralized system is right your specific application.
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