Dust - The Silent Killer
Killer dust can be found lurking everywhere; on top of ductwork, ledges, beams, lighting, machinery and on and on. If you work in an industrial setting, you may often have to deal with a great deal of dust. You might think that dust is harmless, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Under the right conditions, dust can become toxic and combustible. Combustible means that accumulated dust can cause a serious explosion.
WSBC warns that a dust layer > 1/32 of an inch (or the thickness of a typical paper clip) accumulated on sufficient surface areas of a room’s floor/or above ceiling area presents a significant explosion hazard.
Employers have a legal obligation to ensure all practical steps are taken to reduce or even eliminate the hazards of various types of dust. Regulators require employers develop and implement safe work procedures to minimize fire and explosion risk including a thorough dust hazard assessment (DHA) be completed by a qualified person. The DHA is also required to complete a risk-assessment that will help determine the type of equipment and safe-work procedures needed to comply with dust abatement and regulatory guidelines.
Risk-assessments are a regulatory requirement and a proper risk-assessment and procedures allows hazardous dust and combustible dust to be removed – SAFELY
Construction and industrial workers have some of the highest risks for dust-related diseases. Next to asbestos fibres often found in dust, silica and heavy metals dust is the biggest risk to workers.
Silica dust can also be generated during many common construction tasks. Tasks include cutting, drilling, grinding and polishing. Some of this dust is fine enough to get deep into your lungs. Over many years, they are at risk of developing the incurable silicosis, a chronic lung disease causing symptoms such as a cough, shortness of breath, and weakness.
Workers' Homes and Families Have High Risk of Exposure to Toxic Metals Dust
Toxic contaminants found in mining and foundry dust as an example can be unintentionally brought from the workplace into the home, exposing children and other family members. Contaminants can include arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, manganese, nickel and many other toxic elements. Many metals such as aluminum and magnesium dust, and some nonmetallic inorganic materials can burn or explode if:
- Finely divided
- Dispersed in sufficient concentration
- Mixed with other materials or come in contact with water
Wetting metal dust can lead to release of highly flammable gas and may cause severe and rapid explosions. Mixing certain metal dusts can also cause violent reactions.
Enviro-Vac Provide Facility Decontamination and Industrial Vacuum Cleaning Solutions
Industrial facilities can present a unique dust removal challenge due to access issues, confined spaces and working at heights to mention just a few. Enviro-Vac have over four decades of experience providing industrial cleaning and plant dust-downs utilizing industrial Class II, Division 2 NFPA rated HEPA vacuum loaders. This experience enables us to provide a single source solution for nuisance dust, combustible dust and decontamination of arsenic & other heavy metal dusts including beryllium dust, PCB's, mercury, lead and asbestos dust - we are problem solvers.
Expertise of Trained Personnel
The capabilities of our personnel, our certificates of approval, and our long-term focus on innovation has driven our reputation for delivering cost efficient and flexible environmental contracting services, abatement of hazardous materials and from the early beginning, our expertise in industrial vacuum services.
Enviro-Vac is one of the largest privately owned hazardous materials abatement and decontamination contractors in Canada. They offer a full suite of services in hazardous materials abatement, decontamination and industrial vacuum services including negative pressure shrink- wrap containments and are available to work both small and large-scale projects across Canada. The head office is based in Surrey, BC.
If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about hazardous materials abatement, decontamination, industrial vacuum services and industrial dust down or negative pressure shrink-wrap containments, please call us on our toll-free number, 1 (888) 296-2499.