When milling, machining, polishing, grinding, or drilling materials such as Titanium, Magnesium, Aluminum, Iron Oxides, Stainless Steel, and Carbon Fiber, manufacturers must address the inherent explosion and fire hazards associated with the combustible dust generated by these materials.
Housekeeping, provides increased worker and plant safety but usually adds to the overall cost of manufacturing operating expenditures. Safely removing accumulated combustible dusts requires specialized equipment and in some cases access can only be achieved if entire production areas are shut-down. As a result, cleaning activities are not performed as frequently as they should be thus increasing the risks associated with accumulated combustible dusts. To minimize personal risks, efforts should include materials safety awareness, safe handling protocols and training. For example, using plant compressed air to “blow-off” debris from recessed areas should be avoided as the resultant dust in suspension could easily propagate an explosion under the right conditions.
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Specifically best industry practices include: