Feb 18, 2022 8:15:00 AM / by Hughes

Dust Hidden On High Surfaces Can Cause A Dust Explosion Blog Image

Ridding your facility of dust involves more than simple housekeeping. Understand the risks, and know how to effectively and safely clean your rafters and high places to avoid the dangers of dust.

If your regular facility cleaning routine includes sweeping the floors and blowing dust off machinery, you may want to re-think this process. Walking through a factory or warehouse it’s easy to see dust or dirt at eye level or below, but it’s not often that people look up when they think about cleaning these areas. An area can seem spotless, but unless high surface cleaning services have been performed there will still be incredible amounts of dirt present.

Dust rises and settles on high fixtures, including out-of-reach rafters. What happens when surface dust accumulates on these surfaces?


How Dust On High High Surfaces Causes Dust Explosions

First, dust will periodically fall down onto machinery or products on the floor, which can impede or damage costly machinery and cause products to be contaminated or deficient.

Dust is also be dispersed into the air which employees breathe. The decreased air quality could lead to employee illnesses and a lower rate of productivity and efficiency. The ceiling acts like a filter for a building. If the ‘filter’ isn’t cleaned properly, the air in the building becomes unhealthy to breathe.

Dust that accumulates in damp areas with little or no light are prime spots for dangerous mold and bacteria to grow. Piles of dust become a breeding ground for mites, bacteria, viruses, and other pollutants, becoming a health threat to anyone who works or visits the facility. 


The Dangers of Combustible Dust

If that isn’t enough, rafter and ceiling dust could be combustible dust which when disturbed is highly explosive. When a small fire or explosion happens with ground level dust, the shock waves from this disrupt the ceiling dust. The dust then falls and creates an explosive dust cloud in the building. This second, much larger cloud of dust becomes a dangerous fire bomb.

Knowing how to effectively and safely clean high rafter dust is not only important for your facility, but also for the safety and health of your employees.


Cleaning High Surface Dust To Prevent Dust Fires

Can you completely rid your facility of high-rafter dust? How can you reduce the risk of combustible dust fires? First, be sure to implement and follow the mandatory OSHA standards for combustible dust. Second, follow (combustible) dust cleaning standards for your industry, which includes following the (National Fire Protection Association) NFPA 652 and NFPA 654. Third, regularly schedule industrial cleaning services provided by a company with OSHA trained and certified technicians. Dust accumulation on high places is not completely unavoidable. If you maintain a high standard of regular industrial cleaning, however, the risks are reduced considerably.


Why Hughes Environmental

Hughes Environmental technicians are OSHA-trained and are experienced in cleaning high surfaces. Hughes Environmental uses equipment approved for combustible dust cleaning, such as intrinsically safe vacuums and grounded hoses.


Contact Us Here or call 888-845-3952 to schedule high surface cleaning for your facility, or to learn more about combustible dust remediation.

Tags: NFPA, Articles, Combustible Dust Remediation, Hughes Environmental, OSHA, Rafter & Ceiling Cleaning, Ceiling and Rafter Cleaning


Written by Hughes

Subscribe to our blog