Explosion-Proof Vacuums Help Grain Handling Facilities Mitigate Safety Hazards

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Stamford, Conn. – April 29, 2024 – Goodway Technologies, a leading provider of industrial cleaning solutions, is highlighting the critical role of industrial vacuums in grain handling facilities. With the aim of promoting safety and compliance, this call to action comes in response to the frequency of dust fire and explosion incidents, and increased emphasis on safety measures by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA standard number 1910.272, which focuses on the requirements for the control of grain dust fires and explosions applies to grain elevators, feed mills, flour mills, rice mills, dust pelletizing plants, dry corn mills, soybean flaking operations and the dry grinding operations of soycake.

Grain facilities pose a unique risk due to the presence of fine grain dust particles that can combust and cause explosions when exposed to an ignition source, resulting in devastating consequences. To mitigate this risk, the use of industrial vacuums is an essential safety measure that industry professionals must prioritize.

“Taking the proper precaution to prevent dust fires and explosions is critical for grain handling facilities,” says Eric Potorski, Goodway Technologies Industrial Vacuum Specialist. “Finding the right solutions and having the appropriate process in place can help reduce the risk of safety threats and increase safety of the staff.”

When researching explosion-proof vacuums, it’s important to assess how the vacuum is rated internally for dust and externally for the atmosphere. According to OSHA, a Dust Hazard Analysis will “evaluate the potential fire, flash fire or explosion hazards associated with the presence of combustible dust in a process or facility.” The DHA is required by all facilities to have a Documented Housekeeping procedure.

Explosion-proof vacuums are designed with specialized features that minimize the likelihood of a spark or ignition source igniting grain dust particles.

These features include:

  • Explosion-proof motors are sealed to prevent sparks and are thermally protected to prevent high temperatures.
  • Grounding and bonding systems prevent the buildup of static electricity, which can cause sparks and trigger an explosion.
  • Hoses and accessories are made of conductive materials that prevent static electricity buildup.
  • Hoses should be sized for the application and not exceed 25’ in length.
  • Explosion-proof filters are designed to contain combustible materials and prevent the vacuum turbine and motor from the dust laden air.

By using explosion-proof vacuums, grain industry professionals can effectively remove combustible material, helping to prevent the buildup of grain dust, which is a primary cause of explosions. These vacuums can be used to perform continuous housekeeping by removing dust from walls, ceilings, floors, and overhead structures.

Goodway Technologies has a range of high-quality portable and stationary industrial vacuums that comply with the National Fire Protection Association and exceeds the OSHA National Emphasis Program. These industrial vacuums are specifically designed to collect and contain combustible dust safely and are certified for use in in hazardous locations with the following certifications—Ordinary Locations, Class II Division 2, and Class I, II Division 1 environments.

By prioritizing safety and embracing the use of explosion-proof vacuums, the grain industry demonstrates a commitment to the well-being of its workers and the communities it serves. Implementing these vacuums in the industry reduces the risk of fires, property damage, injuries, and loss of life. Goodway Technologies urges all industry stakeholders to take the necessary steps to ensure compliance.