Why containing dust emissions is important in bulk material handling
Rising concerns regarding safe plant operations, employee safety and preserving product integrity have been top of mind for manufacturers. With both raised awareness and tightening regulatory standards, manufacturers have been searching to find efficient, cost-effective methods of dust containment– especially in the discharging and filling of bulk materials.
Explore three takeaways on why dust containment is crucial to create a cleaner, safer work environment.
Effective dust containment is a key part of any operation or process that generates dust. No matter how harmless your dust may seem, it’s important to understand the consequences that can come if you don’t have the proper dust containment features in place.
In most industries – including Baking, Chemical, Plastics and more – uncontrolled dust can lead to:
Risk of Combustibility
According to Dust Safety Science, agricultural and food processing industries made up 49.5% of all reported combustible dust fires in 2021. In the grain and milling industries, it’s been found that dust explosions typically start inside processing equipment that is not properly equipped to control combustible dust. The easiest way to reduce your likelihood of a combustible episode is to utilize a bulk material handling system that contains dust right at the source!
Noncompliance with Regulatory Standards
Organizations like the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) issue standards and guidelines to ensure workplace safety. Through OSHA, employers must comply with federal and state laws to make sure that their operations and equipment are optimized for safety. Failure to comply with OSHA guidelines and regulations will result in hefty fines and potential shutdowns.
Employee Harm or Injury
When thinking of worker safety, dust containment should be at the top of your list— especially in chemical applications. Prolonged exposure to dust can cause long-term health damage for workers, which is why it’s important to know your Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) when running an operation involving dust of any kind.
OSHA has a current PEL for total airborne dust not to exceed 15 mg per cubic meter over an 8-hour TWA limit.
No matter the application, dust containment is critical to a facility’s operations. With the right upfront investment in a proper system, you’ll realize many benefits, including:
- Improved workplace safety for employees.
- Mitigated risk of combustion.
- Eliminated material waste that is discarded 99% of the time once it escapes the system.
- Reduced system maintenance and cleaning costs.
- Ensured compliance with OSHA regulations, avoiding heft fines or shutdowns.
- Minimized chances of cross-contamination.
- And more!
With over 30 years’ experience in bulk material handling, our product visionaries have worked to innovate systems and solutions that create dust-free operations.
Our dust containment features include our Sure-Seal® Pneumatic Spout Clamp System, Flo-Lock® Gate and Seal-Master™ Bag Spout Access Chamber.
Our systems can also be integrated with a Dust Collection System to ensure that any escaped dust is captured.
Unsatisfied with your current dust containment system? Our team can retrofit any of our system features to your current unit to ensure you have the highest performing system to protect your operations, people and the environment.