A common problem we deal with in manufacturing facilities is when improper housekeeping causes dust to accumulate in high reach areas. These facilities practice combustible dust cleaning when there is dust on the ground or easy to reach places, but ceilings and rafters collect dust and aren’t typically cleaned.
Making the situation worse, often the combustible dust cleaning that takes place uses improper cleaning methods such as using compressed air or a vacuum with an exhaust vent. These can end up sending the collected dust airborne, creating an explosive dust hazard while also causing significant amounts of the dust to eventually gather on the high surfaces.
It may seem like the dust collected in out of sight areas won’t pose a threat, but in fact this dust creates the largest hazard and should be a regular part of combustible dust cleaning procedures. One requirement for a combustible dust explosion is for a contained dust cloud to be created, and the settled dust in high up areas creates the potential for this to occur.
How A Dust Explosion From High Surface Occur?
Typically, some small event happens on the ground level that causes a small fire or explosion. These small combustions occur more commonly than you might think, but many go unnoticed or unreported. Luckily, these don’t always cause a further dust explosion, but they have been the culprit behind many catastrophic explosions.
What usually happens is that the small first combustion event creates shockwaves, or the efforts to put it out stir the air, and the combustible dust that had collected on the overhead surfaces is disrupted. This dust then begins to fall down to the ground below, creating a dust cloud that covers the entire building. This cloud reaches the initial ignition source, causing it to combust. These secondary dust cloud combustions have had enough power to lift entire roofs from buildings, buckle concrete floors, and demolish entire factories.
Hughes Environmental High Surface Cleaning
Hughes specializes in cleaning projects for commercial and industrial facilities, and we’re focused on safety. Our technicians are OSHA trained, experienced working on high surfaces, and we’re experts in combustible dust safety.
Our Commercial and Industrial High Surface Cleaning Services include:
- Ceiling truss
- Exterior of ductwork
- Exhaust hood ventilation
- Storage racks/shelving
- Fire suppression systems
- Ceiling deck
- And other elevated structural components
Contact Us Here or call 888-845-3952