Dust on overhead pipes, purlins and machinery can make any business look unhygienic or unprofessional, but there are far greater risks than giving a poor impression. Damage and the subsequent costs to your business can include the following;
- dust residue clogs machinery causing unnecessary wear and costly breakdowns
- dust can absorb moisture, fats and other substances. The damp mix can provide an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, mould and rust
- dust may contain harmful fibres or chemicals
However, damage caused by dust build up can be spectacular as it is a major fire risk. Dust is highly explosive and a collision or gust of wind can unsettle and lift the dust into the air where any spark could ignite the airborne particles creating a devastating explosion. Dust explosions have the power to flatten concrete factories and warehouses.
What is the solution?
A regular cleaning programme will reduce the risks caused by dust. However, much will depend upon the cleaning method used. Water blasting and compressed air just move the problem from one area to another without removing it. The most effective method is by vacuuming as it ensures that the dust is removed. From a risk management perspective, vacuuming dust from hard to access places above an operational plant is a task for a specialist company. Check that your service provider has established systems in place for risk assessment and a good reputation for safety compliant work practices.