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C&W DustTech / Resources  / Content  / Clearing The Air  / Optimize Dust Collector Operator Safety

Optimize Dust Collector Operator Safety

Optimize Operator Safety from System Design to Maintenance

Engineering Dust Collection Systems with YOU in Mind

An effective dust collection system is an essential part of keeping an industrial facility clean, safe and compliant with regulatory standards. As you look to invest in your next dust collection system, ask yourself, “How do I protect the employees who operate and maintain the system to ensure ongoing success?

At C&W, we hold paramount the safety of employees, assets and communities. That’s why every C&W dust collection system goes well beyond ensuring clean air. From the very beginning, our dust collection experts – including our experienced engineers – design each dust collector and full dust collection system with safety in mind.

Explore key considerations to keep employees safe while operating a dust collection system.

Designing an Easy-to-Access Dust Collector

A properly sized dust collector is key to increasing production efficiencies, minimizing risk and ensuring peak system performance. It is also key to ensuring ease of operator accessibility.

Take C&W’s LPR Series silo dust collector, for example. A silo collector is designed to sit on top of a material silo – a storage structure that alone stands on average 50-100 feet in the air. This creates safety risks for operators performing regular procedures and maintenance – such as filter media replacements or daily gauge checks – on the collector at elevated heights.

To make filter media exchange a quick and seamless process, C&W’s LPR unit features a pop in-out filter exchange with no tools or need to remove blow pipes. This also cuts down on operator time on top of a silo which reduces the risk of an injury or accident.

Another example related to silo collectors is the location of the minihelic gauge. To prevent customers from having to climb up the silo to obtain daily air pressure readings, C&W can provide a kit that operators use to mount the minihelic gauge at eye-level to take the readings.

Beyond accessibility, C&W’s dust collector experts also incorporate other considerations into the system design process, including:

Ensuring accurate airflow calculations and recommending proper pickup points.

Referencing material safety data sheets (MSDS) to properly recommend additional features to mitigate combustible dust risks.

Selecting the right cleaning technology based upon type of dust and environment.

These considerations ensure that the collector is right for your operation to properly collect dust and keep your people safe.

Add Safety Accessories

A dust collector’s safety performance can be enhanced with additional safety accessories. In fact, C&W’s Central Dust Collector is designed with added safety accessories including safety gates, ladders, platforms and handrails that ensure OSHA compliance.

For customers in Ready-Mix, C&W’s slump inspection platforms are just another way you can keep your employees safe. These platforms protect truck drivers when checking concrete’s slump, adding fiber additives or washing trucks.

Practicing Safe Dust Collector Operation & Maintenance

The focus on safety in manufacturing facilities has increased significantly over time with greater public awareness and more stringent compliance regulations from regulatory bodies. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor recently made adjustments to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) civil penalties – increasing fines by 7.7%.

This makes it all the more necessary to have the proper safety measures and procedures in place for those that operate and maintain your dust collection system. Safety measures may include:

Equipping operators with the correct personal protective equipment (PPE), this includes goggles, a hard hat, face masks, safety harnesses, gloves, etc.

Making sure employees understand hazard assessments and plans.

Educating employees on the presence of high air pressure, moving parts and high electrical voltage dangers when maintaining a dust collector.

Filter media replacement is a major part of dust collector maintenance. Ideally, workers should never have to enter the dust collector to change filters. Dust collectors that do involve entry during service can put workers at risk.

For optimal safety, filters should be positioned for easy access. Take C&W’s Central Dust Collectors for example. These OSHA-compliant units feature toolless exchange of filter media and top entry access for seamless exchange to avoid operators having to enter the collector to change out filters and create more safety risk.

Conducting Regular Maintenance Seminars & Operator Training

With proper training, your technicians, engineers and operators will be able to keep your system running by troubleshooting any problems that may arise. Conducting ongoing maintenance education – like a maintenance seminar with your dust collector manufacturer – can ensure that all employees are aligned on how to protect your system.

Some of the items covered in a typical maintenance seminar may include:

  • Basic Dust Collector Operating Parameters
    • Know your dust | Size, Chemistry, Moisture
    • Know your regulations and compliance standards | OSHA, MSHA, EPA, NFPA
  • Mechanisms of Filtration to Know
    • Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) | A measure of airflow, or how much air the collector can move each minute.
    • Area of filter media | How much total filter media is in the dust collector.
    • Air-to-cloth ratio | The amount of air going through each square foot of filter media each minute.
  • Combustible Dust Overview
    • Types of combustible dust | Minerals, Metals, Plastics, Chemicals and more.
    • Hazard prevention | How to prevent and protect against combustible dust hazards.
    • Hazard analysis | How to conduct a hazard analysis for combustible dust applications.

Not sure where to get started? Contact C&W’s dust collection experts to set up an educational maintenance seminar for your team.

Protecting Your People Together

At C&W, we understand what it takes to protect people – from plant employees to the dust collector operators to the neighbors across the street.

We’ve spent our lives designing and engineering high-performing systems that put safety first. When it comes to safeguarding your people, processes and the environment – don’t guess. Fill out this form or call C&W’s dust collection experts today 800-880-DUST (3878) to customize your dust collector today.

Create Your Maintenance Checklist

Understand how to best craft a dust collection maintenance process for your specific operation.

Learn More!

Schedule Your Maintenance Seminar Today

Contact our dust collection experts to set up an educational maintenance seminar for your team.

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