Each year, businesses must decide where to invest their plant maintenance dollars. For many plants, one of the top priorities is maintaining a clean facility. Investing time and money in plant cleanliness, especially industrial dust control, is an important part of their operations. But why?
What is it that motivates plant managers to put cleanliness at the top of the list? Is it because their machines look sharper when they are clean? Probably not. The motivation behind maintaining a clean facility depends on your perspective. Each of these three reasons encompasses crucial aspects of running a successful operation.
- Safety Compliance
Establishing safe practices that keep on-site conditions compliant with current NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards is not optional. This organization maintains over 300 codes which encompass guidelines for fire and explosion safety. It is these standards set by the NFPA which OSHA uses to create enforceable safety laws for facilities. Failure to adhere to these standards is costly. Companies risk losses on many fronts, including lives, property and revenue. Consider the following statistics from the 2019 Dust Safety Science Combustible Dust Incident Report:
- OSHA gave out 142 citations to companies who failed to comply with combustible dust standards. The penalties totaled over $2 million.
- Across the U.S., there were 175 fires and 37 explosions related to combustible dust. These incidents caused 42 injuries and one fatality.
Facility managers who prioritize industrial dust control do so (in part) to avoid becoming one of these statistics. Even if no lives are lost in a combustible dust explosion, the facility risks equipment and structural damage and loss of productivity. Rather than take these risks, facility owners take the appropriate steps to maintain a clean and healthy facility that complies to current safety standards.
- Company Compliance
In some cases, the individuals charged with maintaining a clean facility are not the top-ranking decision-makers in the organization. Corporate policies drive plants to take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with in-house standards. In other words, when corporate or senior management establishes a guideline or policy, facility managers must comply. While these policies are no doubt guided by safety, they are also driven by mandated efficiency, productivity and profitability requirements.
- Employee Benefits
Despite P&L factors, a third important motivating factor for maintaining clean facilities is to benefit the workforce. Working in a clean environment provides two main advantages for employees.
Safety – Facility managers don’t simply want to avoid an explosion because it could disrupt business. They want to keep their employees safe. By using industrial dust control methods to maintain high standards of cleanliness, they create the best possible environment for employment. This includes reductions both in immediate hazard risks, such as combustible dust explosions, as well as in long-term health risks, such as respiratory illness.
Job satisfaction – SmallBizGenious.com reports that only 25% of employees who quit their jobs cite money as the main reason for leaving. What makes employees stay? HRToolbox reports the number one factor in determining job satisfaction is whether the company cares about its employees.
In other words, if the employees feel that they are well cared for, they will be more satisfied with their jobs. And as their satisfaction goes up, so do loyalty, productivity and company reputation. Conversely, a dissatisfied workforce results in high turnover and greater challenges for the business.
How to Keep Your Facility Clean
Of course, motivation alone isn’t enough. Facility managers who want to maintain regulatory compliance and provide a safe work environment must also have the tools to achieve these goals.
As the global leader in dust control, SonicAire has made this task easier than ever. SonicAire’s combustible dust fan control systems offer customized solutions to allow businesses to maintain cleaner, safer work environments.
SonicAire engineers partner with facilities to recommend the ideal fan system for each setting. This unique technology uses high-velocity airflow and thermal-current control to prevent combustible dust particles from accumulating on overhead structures. This preventive method allows companies to effectively and economically maintain a clean environment.
To start reaping the benefits of industrial dust control fans, contact SonicAire today for your personally engineered solution and quote.