Winter is a season that poses certain dangers such as travel and health. In the world of industrial manufacturing, winter also raises the risks of combustible dust accidents. What raises the risk? The low humidity levels in the air during winter makes easy dust dispersion within confined spaces and this can cause an explosion.

This was confirmed by a study conducted by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board that revealed that 7 out of 8 fatal combustible dust explosions between 1995 and 2009 occurred during winter. There are a number of practices that every factory should adhere to every winter such as being cautious of space heaters and providing proper ventilation in the workspace. When it comes to dust, use the following tips to cut combustible dust risks during winter.

  • Use specialized dust cleaners when removing dust. Industrial dust collectors and vacuums especially the ones with explosion-proof capabilities can handle different types of dust applications. Investing in one can go a long way in preventing combustible dust risks during winter.
  • Never ignore the hard to reach areas as they may have dust buildup.
  • Install vacuum exhaust fans to prevent dust buildup on the fan blades and motors.
  • Avoid using compressed air as it can cause the formation of a dust cloud that can lead to an explosion.
  • Make sure that all your employees are properly trained to identify and report any combustible dust safety risk before it causes an accident.

Do not allow dust accumulations over 1/32 of an inch as it poses a combustible dust safety risk. As a manufacturer, you should take the steps to prevent even the tiniest combustible dust accumulations regardless of the time of year. There is no such thing as being too cautious and these steps will keep you safe during the colder months.