Essential techniques in managing industrial dust


Industrial dust is a constant hazard. It poses fire risks, is hazardous to the health of employees, and degrades plant equipment. While most plants, warehouses, and commercial premises have a ventilation system and a cleaning regimen, some of these are not sufficient to cope with the dangers or to comply with health and safety directives. Here are five tips to point you in better directions when it comes to managing industrial dust.

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Statutory compliance

The Environmental Agency and Health and Safety Executive set emission thresholds. To help you meet them, European standards are set out in Eurovent 4/9:1997, EN779:1993, EN779:2002, and EN1822. Filters are also often rated with the US equivalent called MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value).

Although these rating systems provide an initial performance guide, they tell you nothing about pressure drops, pulsing emissions, energy performance, and other measures of a dust collector’s efficiency. Although you can test these yourself, it is much easier to consult a dust collection professional for an assessment.

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Filter and cleaning access

Your system must be designed to make ductwork cleaning and filter access as safe and convenient as possible. Using a modern spiral duct from a supplier such as https://www.dustspares.co.uk/ductwork-parts/galvanised-ducting/galvanised-steel-spiral-duct.html makes cleaning much easier, but untrained workers should never have access to a dust collector. Required health and safety precautions might include monitoring for gas and special permits for confined space entries.

Fire prevention

Vertically mounted filters are less likely to become choked and are less vulnerable to ignition from an air-blown spark. If there are any possible sources of sparks in the environment, such as metalworking, you need flame-retardant filters and spark arrestor screens or cyclone devices at the inlets.

Changing filters

Some long-life filter cartridges will work for over two years before needing to be changed; however, other types may need cleaning or changing as often as monthly in a dusty environment. Airflow gauges can be used to detect when the pressure drops across the collector.

Enhancing safety

You can use an additional safety monitoring filter to detect when the dust is re-entering the workplace, especially if your aircon system is recirculating filtered air. When dust may be particularly toxic, you can implement a containment system such as BIBO (bag-in/bag-out). Use lock-out doors, caged ladders, and access platforms to further improve the safety of your installation.

Essential techniques in managing industrial dust

Industrial dust is a constant hazard. It poses fire risks, is hazardous to the health of employees, and degrades plant equipment. While most plants, warehouses, and commercial premises have a ventilation system and a cleaning regimen, some of these are not sufficient to cope with the dangers or to comply with health and safety directives. Here are five tips to point you in better directions when it comes to managing industrial dust.

Image Credit

Statutory compliance

The Environmental Agency and Health and Safety Executive set emission thresholds. To help you meet them, European standards are set out in Eurovent 4/9:1997, EN779:1993, EN779:2002, and EN1822. Filters are also often rated with the US equivalent called MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value).

Although these rating systems provide an initial performance guide, they tell you nothing about pressure drops, pulsing emissions, energy performance, and other measures of a dust collector’s efficiency. Although you can test these yourself, it is much easier to consult a dust collection professional for an assessment.

Image Credit

Filter and cleaning access

Your system must be designed to make ductwork cleaning and filter access as safe and convenient as possible. Using a modern spiral duct from a supplier such as https://www.dustspares.co.uk/ductwork-parts/galvanised-steel-spiral-duct.html makes cleaning much easier, but untrained workers should never have access to a dust collector. Required health and safety precautions might include monitoring for gas and special permits for confined space entries.

Fire prevention

Vertically mounted filters are less likely to become choked and are less vulnerable to ignition from an air-blown spark. If there are any possible sources of sparks in the environment, such as metalworking, you need flame-retardant filters and spark arrestor screens or cyclone devices at the inlets.

Changing filters

Some long-life filter cartridges will work for over two years before needing to be changed; however, other types may need cleaning or changing as often as monthly in a dusty environment. Airflow gauges can be used to detect when the pressure drops across the collector.

Enhancing safety

You can use an additional safety monitoring filter to detect when the dust is re-entering the workplace, especially if your aircon system is recirculating filtered air. When dust may be particularly toxic, you can implement a containment system such as BIBO (bag-in/bag-out). Use lock-out doors, caged ladders, and access platforms to further improve the safety of your installation.