Everyday, hardworking people across the world get up early to use their expertise in industrial and construction activities. Nose to the grindstone, sweating blood, they make it happen and risk injury if proper care is not taken by them and their employing company. This injury doesn't need to occur, and it certainly doesn't need to happen from encountering dust.
Lots of processes on the job in industrial and construction activities can generate dust and pose risk to those without dust control safety techniques in place.
From the outside looking in, it can seem simple. Dust is dust. Just find a way to get rid of it. Once you start thinking about your dust control plan, you can see there's more to dust than what meets the eye. Different types of dust, methods of control for different situations, options for various budget sizes, all of this can become overwhelming.
Don't worry! We're going to simplify things and work on making those worries disappear.
When people think dust, they mostly think the floating particles in their house. With this dust, they don't need to worry about health hazards unless they have allergies, but for industrial and construction workers, the dust they encounter can be hazardous.
The size of the dust and material the dust particles are made of affect the amount of possible danger to a person's health. Dust particles are broken up into three groups based on size and ability with most not being visible to the human eye. These groups include: respirable dust, inhalable dust and total dust.
Respirable dust is the most concerning and smallest of the three types. It has the ability to pass into and stay in the lungs.
Inhalable dust is the middle sized dust that gets trapped before the lungs in either the nose, throat, or upper respiratory tract.
Total dust is the largest form of dust, and it is the form that is visible to our eyes. It can enter the human system but tends to get trapped earlier.
For more on dust particles, check out our blog post Dust Particles in Industrial Dust Control!
This umbrella term "fugitive dust" applies to most dust created on industrial job sites. Fugitive dust isn't guided away from whatever process created it. It just escapes the process into the air, spreading wherever the wind takes it.
For example, metal shredders rip through heaps of metal and don't direct the dust created during use. It rises from the shredder and flies away into the air. This dust emanating out from the shredder is fugitive dust.
This migratory dust needs to be stopped, or the dust can cause significant health problems to the workers and even the surrounding community. Many options are available to fight against fugitive dust, but the best solution is using dust control misting cannons. Equipment like DustBoss® cannons provide tiny, atomized droplets that are ideal for capturing and dropping the dust. And don't worry, a more detailed explanation on how to remove dust from the air is a category below!
For more nitty gritty details on fugitive dust, check out the blog post What is Fugitive Dust?
HOW TO PREVENT DUST
On industrial and construction job sites, taking action before dust gets in the air is always a good idea. It doesn't fix the problem of fugitive dust, but it does help reduce the amount created.
This preventive form of dust control has 5 main methods of action.
- Misting Cannons
Surfactants are widely used crusting agents applied to material stockpiles and roads under construction and demolition. Soaking uses copious amounts of water through fire hoses, sprinklers and water trucks to over-saturate stockpiles and roads to stop dust creation. Misting cannons use mist to seal stockpiles without over-saturation compared to soaking. Foam is applied to stockpiles from an additive run through spray bars to prevent dust from kicking up. The downside to foam is the material isn't meant to be moved once the foam is applied. The last method of preventing dust is with snow. It acts in the same way as foam, but it is created and laid with a snow machine.
These methods help prevent dust, but it still gets into the air. Many other tactics are implemented to remove dust from the air.
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REMOVE DUST FROM THE AIR
Dust created by industrial and construction equipment needs to be removed from the air to protect those in its vicinity. Using an effective method is necessary, but many use the preventive method of a water hose as their only source of dust control. Unfortunately, that barely does anything for the real threat of airborne dust. Removing dust from the air is an active form of dust control that requires more precise efforts.
This active form of dust control has 4 main methods of action.
- Dust Collection
Misting cannons throw large amounts of non-saturating mist into the air to capture dust and drop it to the ground. They are the most effective from of airborne dust control, and DustBoss systems use atomized mist to create droplets similar in size to fugitive dust. This sizing is ideal to avoid the slipstream effect and capture fugitive dust.
Fogging is similar to misting. It puts out a finer form of water and stays suspended in the air. This size can capture dust, but it lacks the larger size to knock dust to the ground.
Dust collection systems are another method of dust control. These large systems suck in dust in a designated area and keep it separate from the ongoing operation.
Creating enclosures around dust generating operations is the last effective method of removing dust from the air. For outside operations, wind fences are installed around the perimeter of job sites, and inside operations have buildings developed around the dust generating points to keep dust inside.
INDUSTRIAL DUST COLLECTOR
Industrial dust collectors are an effective form of dust control for confined dust creation if the budget allows it.
These systems are typically built into buildings where lots of dust is created inside. The dust pickup hood is placed at the optimal location for the job and is attached to ducting that connects to the dust collector. The fan is behind the collector and is used to provide the sucking function of the system. The sucked up dust stays in the collector until it needs to be removed and dumped.
As effective as they are for indoor dust control, dust collection systems come with some downsides. One drawback to industrial dust collectors is that they are expensive compared to any other dust control options. Implementing this system takes a large dust control budget and is typically only viable for sizable job sites.
Another downside to industrial dust collectors is the regular maintenance needing to be performed. As expressed earlier, the separate dust collector fills up with the collected dust and needs to be emptied regularly. This involves dumping the collected particles which creates fugitive dust during the dumping process if dust control isn't implemented at the dumping grounds.
If multiple indoor, dust-generating operations occur on-site, dust collection systems can be set up to collect dust with multiple ducting and dust pickup hoods. This provides efficient use of the expensive system as it provides dust control for multiple processes.
If industrial dust collectors are too expensive or require too much looking after for your job site, misting cannons are another great option for dust control. These units, like the DustBoss DB-60, are considerably less expensive than dust collection systems, and they provide optimal dust control with fine water droplets.
DUST SUPPRESSION THROUGH DUSTBOSS®
Implementing proper dust suppression into industrial and construction sites is easy with DustBoss dust control systems.
Designed for dust control, these systems use smaller droplets than hoses or sprinklers to provide optimal suppression for fugitive dust. These smaller droplets are known as atomized mist. Output at 50 - 200 microns, the mist captures dust particles and takes them to the ground while avoiding the slipstream effect.
DustBoss also provides dust suppression through surface sealing. Atomized mist not only catches dust in the air, but when the mist makes contact with the ground, the droplets seal that surface to reduce dust generation when disturbed.
Finding the size of water droplets that are "just right" in size is essential for water-based dust suppression. DustBoss provides that ideal size and using larger droplets won't improve anything. Larger droplets will end up catching less dust and using more water. DustBoss uses 21 times less water than sprinklers while being more effective and saving money.
To learn more about dust suppression through DustBoss, check out the modern age of dust suppression.
DUST CONTROL FOR INDUSTRIAL SITES
Dust control is a necessity at current-day industrial and construction job sites. The different types of dust, methods of dust control, and budgeting options all are factors to consider when implementing the right dust solution for your job site.
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