Wood dust safety tips
Lumber producers deal with workplace hazards daily. To grow awareness and assist with developing safety protocols, a host of risk management briefs are available from the Loss Control Team at Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company (PLM). The safety resources can be found in the “Loss Control Center” at www.plmins.com. Take a look.
Did you know: Wood Dust accumulation, any thicker than a dime, creates an exposure?
“When allowed to build up in cracks, crevices and corners, and exposed to an ignition source like uncontrolled smoking, impact sparks, hot work (grinding, welding, torching) or out-of-date, faulty, or poorly maintained electrical equipment, these tiny, highly-combustible wood particles can serve as the eager fuel for fires and explosions. To protect your facility from wood-dust related fires, good housekeeping is key.
- Conduct daily cleanings, including floors, walls, ledges and ceilings, to ensure that wood dust is not building up and that electrical equipment is protected or moved from any potential buildup area.
- Ventilation systems and ducts should be checked often to ensure no blockage is present. Managers, operators and owners should service and maintain all equipment, regularly.
- Have dust control equipment in place. Specifically, use a dust collection system with its own safety shut-off and alarm system. Inside a properly engineered system, an infrared detector will trigger a flame suppression system if it detects hot material in the duct work. When this detector is triggered, the dust collection system will spray a mist, extinguishing the spark, like a sprinkler system.”
Visit www.plmins.com for all of PLM’s risk management briefs. Or contact their Loss Control Services Department at 800.752.1895.