119. That’s the number of workers killed by combustible dust incidents between 1980 and 2005. Another 718 workers were injured.
These alarming stats were revealed by an extensive study conducted by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) in 2006. By 2017, another 111 combustible dust incidents had occurred which resulted in an additional 66 fatalities and 337 injuries.
What is the cause of these tragedies? The culprit is combustible dust. Certain conditions generate dust clouds which can lead to deadly explosions. Several components must be present to create these fires.
Aware of this danger, facility operators are looking for solutions to reduce their risk. Industrial dust fans are proving to be a proactive solution that effectively prevents dust explosions and creates a cleaner, healthier work environment.
The effectiveness of these industrial dust fans stems from three key factors.
As dust fans reduce the risk of combustible dust events, they provide several additional health and safety benefits to facility owners and their employees:
Regulatory compliance: Due to the threat posed by combustible dust, it is of significant concern for OSHA and NFPA. Companies that do not meet standards set by these organizations face severe penalties. Just last year, a metal tank manufacturer was fined $101,800 for dust accumulation related issues. Industrial dust fans are designed to prevent this accumulation and allow facility operators to comply with government regulations.
Safe housekeeping: Without industrial fans in place, workers must find another way to keep the facility clean. This usually involves accessing hard-to-reach areas, which can be a dangerous task. It may also require operational shut-down while cleaning is completed. Dust fans accomplish these cleaning chores, so workers do not have to be put at risk. This also results in cost reductions, as workforce resources do not have to be diverted to time-consuming cleaning tasks, and employees can remain productive in other areas.
Improved morale: When employees are surrounded by a clean, safe environment, morale is higher. Staff enjoy a better frame of mind, knowing they are working in a clean facility where health risks are low and safety levels are high. This, in turn, can lead to increased production and a healthier bottom line.
SonicAire partners with plant operators to reduce risk and enhance safety. Our proactive dust fan solution is designed to eliminate overhead combustible dust problems. Using proprietary technology, SonicAire industrial dust fans are engineered to effectively eliminate dust accumulations and prevent dust explosions. Our team delivers a customized solution for each facility that maximizes results while minimizing cost. The results are a cleaner plant and a safer employee environment.
To reduce combustible dust risk at your facility, contact the industry leaders at SonicAire for a custom solution and quote.