This year, On July 27, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined Oak Creations Inc. in Montana $50,000 for 21 safety hazard citations. The OSHA inspection followed the passing of 55-year-old Tom Hegg, an Oak Creations cabinetmaker of 15 years. “Acute, long-term exposure to wood dust” was named as the cause of Hegg’s death, and in fact The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) does label wood dust a human carcinogen.
How Does Wood Dust Affect Your Workplace?
In particular, dust from walnut, birch, elm, oak, beech, ash, and mahogany woods can cause “nasal cancer” if exposure exceeds the limits that the OSHA sets for the woodworking industry. Western red cedar has also been found to cause occupational asthma. Additionally, the combustible quality of wood dust lends itself to explosions or fires in plants that do not adhere to safety requirements.
Beyond safety concerns, an accumulation of wood dust can put a damper on productivity as employees try to work through the mess or stop to clean frequently. Wood dust particles can also infiltrate wood finishing processes, diminishing production quality.
How Bedson REPS Designs Wood Dust Collection Systems
Bedson REPS is committed to helping you keep your employees safe, your environments clean, and your processes on track with the proper dust collection system. We are proud to create and implement custom dust collection systems for lumber mills, furniture companies, cabinet businesses, plywood manufacturing operations, and other woodworking services.
We will carefully assess your workplace layout and your production processes to design the most effective and cost efficient wood dust collection system for your unique situation. A few pieces of information that we will gather during our assessment include:
The amount of wood dust your production emits
How much wood dust you will need to store before disposal
Whether your wood dust collector needs to be inside or outside
Characteristics of the wood dust produced by your plant
Whether your production is constant or periodic
Your environment’s “airflow requirement in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)”
Bedson REPS carries a wide variety of products that we can choose from to design your dust collection system. For instance, baghouse collectors can be used inside or in an enclosed area outside to collect wood dust that has passed through a primary dust collector like the Cyclone. In the case of non-toxic dust collection, baghouse filters allow air to recirculate after being purified, saving your business some energy expenses.
How Does the Cyclone Dust Collector Work?
The cyclone dust collector is a sort of air purifier that uses the helical rotation of a centrifugal fan to isolate wood dust particles from an air stream with approximately 90-95% efficiency. Air contaminated with wood dust spirals through the Cyclone from its wide peak to its narrow base, while particles are separated from the air through the cyclical motion. Bigger fragments of wood dust drop to the floor of the cyclone to be extracted later. The clean air then departs through the middle of the cyclone. The optional filter bag catches the particles expelled through the action of the cyclone. The Cyclone can handle applications ranging from 300-13,000 CFM.
How We Support the Woodworking Industry
We all appreciate quality woodworking as it contributes to offices and homes in the form of cabinets, furniture, doors, floors, paneling, structural supports and more. More than that though, Bedson REPS recognizes the people behind all of those fine wood products and wants to help businesses in the woodworking industry keep their employees safe and their environments tidy.
That’s why we go beyond just offering wood dust collection products and are happy to help you assess your needs and design a custom wood dust collection system for your plant. If your business accumulates wood dust as a byproduct of your production, contact our Memphis team today to experience our hands on approach to wood dust collection and our dedication to customer service for the woodworking industry.