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In many industrial facilities, one of the by-products of manufacturing can be combustible dust. As you might guess, combustible dust is any fine material that has the ability to catch fire or explode when dispersed in the air. Exposure to combustible dust can cause both acute and chronic health problems, and even death. Using special techniques and equipment like spark-proof, explosion-proof vacuums, the trained cleaning professionals at Painters USA will restore your facilities to a safe, healthy environment.
Dust typically accumulates in open areas and overhead structures, but can also hide inside ventilation systems, false ceilings, conveyor equipment, and on top of support beams. We'll find it wherever it's located, leaving no combustible dust behind.
Commercial facilities at risk of a dust explosion
- Food processing and production plants
- Grain elevators
- Metal fabricators and processors
- Coal-fired power plants
- Chemical manufacturers
- Woodworking facilities
- Recycling facilities
Regularly scheduled cleaning is a necessity at facilities that tend to generate combustible dust. It will safeguard your employees, drive down maintenance costs, maintain the integrity and value of your facilities and equipment, and protect the safety and viability of your products.
Combustible dust cleaning process and services
Hazardous dust inspection and cleaning
A careful assessment of your cleaning needs always leads to a safe, successful completion of a project.
Deep cleaning of machinery and equipment
Cleaning machines regularly is essential for worker safety and productivity.
Cleaning in tight areas
Cleaning in tight areas where combustible dust can settle and hide.
Equipment and workspace protection
Protective sheathing is always used to keep dust and other contaminants from migrating to other parts of your facility
Approved vacuum cleaners
Spark-proof or explosion-proof vacuums allow us to safely combat your combustible dust problems.
Combustible waste removal
Proper disposal of combustible waste is a vital step in completing your cleaning project.
Weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual cleaning available to suit any production and budget cycles.
Our crews are certified for confined spaces and experienced in cleaning all work space and surfaces where combustible dust can collect. We use only approved equipment and processes, and we have the licensing and liability insurance you require.
Painters USA will ensure the safety of your workers, the integrity of your commercial facility, and compliance with OSHA and other regulations that apply to your business.
OSHA standards for combustible dust
Painters USA is familiar with all applicable OSHA requirements that pertain to the hazards of combustible dust. That includes the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which states that:
Employers must keep workplaces free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
Other OSHA standards and regulations concerning combustible dust include:
- §1910.22 Housekeeping
- §1910.307 Hazardous Locations
- §1910.1200 Hazard Communication
- §1910.269 Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution (coal handling)
- §1910.272 Grain Handling Facilities
Our crews are completely safety conscious on every project, protecting themselves, your employees, and your facility from harm.
Painters USA for quality commercial painting services
Painters USA has been successful in a highly competitive industry since 1976 by living up to our promises and not cutting corners. We pride ourselves on integrity, value, and devotion to the needs and goals of our clients.
Highly-trained, dedicated team
Rest assured, knowing the supervisor and crew assigned to your project have extensive training in products, processes, and OSHA 30 or OSHA 10 safety.
Painters USA employs enough cleaning crews to perform services quickly and efficiently, including the capacity to send more workers to a job site if needed.
Painters USA will coordinate our work schedule with other service providers and trades for optimal efficiency and safety on large projects.
Available to work nights, weekends, and holidays to minimize disruptions and keep out of the way of your workforce.
Fully licensed, insured, and credentialed
Painters USA carries all required liability and workers compensation coverage, and our crews have valuable training credentials and certifications.
Using the E-Verify System (Department of Homeland Security) to vet and hire new employees, we ensure that trustworthy and legitimate employees are on your premises to complete your industrial cleaning projects.
And, as a nationwide industrial and commercial contractor, we can meet a host of other service needs you might have, like painting and flooring. Painters USA could also be called Cleaners USA, as we strive to give our commercial and industrial clients a hassle-free experience, whether you have one facility or several, located regionally or across the United States.
Combustible cleaning customer example
A fiberglass insulation manufacturing facility in South Dakota had a build-up of combustible fiberglass dust on their ceilings and walls that needed to be addressed. Besides being a fire hazard, fiberglass poses serious health risks with regular exposure.
Cleaning scope and process
Thorough cleaning of ceiling, including deck, structural supports, cranes, and other horizontal surfaces that encompassed:
- Proper masking of flooring and machinery beneath and adjacent to work areas
- Careful blow-down of dust and debris.
- Scraping away failed coating that remained after blow down.
- Vacuuming area using explosion-proof vacuum systems
- Thorough clean-up of work area upon completion
Thorough cleaning of walls:
- Hand cleaning to remove debris from all walls.
- Vacuuming all dust and debris using explosion-proof vacuum systems.
- Thorough clean up of all work areas upon completion
With the ceilings and walls dust-free, the client’s employees could rest assured that the company was doing what it could to protect their health and safety. The client was extremely satisfied and has told us that their people took notice, commenting how clean and new the production area looked.
How do you clean combustible dust?
Only explosion-proof vacuum and collection systems that are approved for combustible dust should be used, with the work performed under controlled circumstances by experienced commercial cleaners. Never use compressed air hoses or attempt to sweep dust that is potentially combustible yourself, as you can endanger people and make the situation worse.
How can you prevent combustible dust from collecting and causing safety hazards?
Some of the safeguards recommended by OSHA include:
- Implement a hazardous dust inspection, testing, housekeeping, and control program.
- Use proper dust collection systems and filters.
- Locate relief valves away from places where dust deposits.
- Minimize the escape of dust from process equipment or ventilation systems.
- Install surfaces that minimize dust accumulation and facilitate cleaning.
What are some examples of combustible dust?
Many materials, including some that are seemingly innocent, can be classified as combustible -- capable of causing flash fires or explosions. According to OSHA, the following can be potential combustible dust sources:
Agricultural materials: Cellulose, corn, egg white, fertilizer, flour, powdered milk, soy flour, spices, starch, sugar, tobacco, wood flour.
Carbonaceous materials: Charcoal, coal, lampblack, lignite.
Plastics: Epoxy resin, melamine, phenolic resin, polyethylene, polypropylene.
Metals: Aluminum, iron, magnesium, titanium, zirconium.
Others: Biosolids, dyes, pharmaceuticals, rubber, soap, sulfur.
Is cement a source of combustible dust?
No, according to OSHA, cement in its pure chemical state will not form combustible dust. Other materials that do not form combustible dust in their pure, chemical state include gypsum, limestone, sand and salt.
How can combustible dust be controlled or eliminated?
You can do three things to control combustible dust fuel and avoid safety hazards:
- Capture the dust before it escapes into the air with properly designed and installed dust collection systems.
- Contain dust within equipment, systems, or rooms that are built and operated to safely handle combustible dust.
- Clean the work areas, surfaces and concealed spaces where combustible dust that is not captured or contained can accumulate, with the help of experienced contractors using safe and specialized cleaning methods.