OSHA’s updated clean air standard has foundries scrambling to meet compliance regulations before their impending compliance date of June 2018. The new standard protects foundry employees by reducing the amount of crystalline silica dust they are exposed to in a given workday. The standard not only changes the amount of silica dust that can be found in the air or on a job site, but stresses the need for new and improved silica dust clean-up techniques. This means that sweeping and shoveling cleaning methods will be tossed by the wayside and are to be replaced by industrial vacuum systems that are equipped with HEPA filtration.

Important Questions to Ask

The easiest and most effective way to control silica dust is to collect it at the source. Since this is not always perfect as dust often tends to escape, a large dust collection machine is the ideal type of equipment to have at your foundry for dust clean-up.

But, is a large dust collection machine always necessary? And if so, how many do you need…and where should they be located?

What about employees who must frequently clean their work clothes so as not to transfer dust to sanitary areas of the foundry? A small, portable HEPA shop vacuum may be a better choice in this circumstance. Depending on your foundry’s work environment you may find that a combination of dust collection systems is ideal for collecting dust that has found its way into the air stream, or that has settled and collected on surfaces around the job site.

With only months left to meet compliance standards, it can be a daunting task trying to find the right vacuum or dust collection systems that meet the needs of your foundry’s work processes. That is why Industrial Vacuum is here to help! Below we provide a brief overview covering the different forms of silica dust and which of our systems would best suit clean-up for each type.

Categories & Forms of Silica Dust

Silica dust can be found in several forms such as new dust, dust build-up, and airborne dust. New dust occurs at the time of cutting, grinding, crushing, or drilling. Dust buildup happens over time as new dust accumulates in the work area until there is a significant collection that has developed. Airborne dust typically comes from uncollected dust buildup that has been agitated and is now suspended in the air. For each type of respirable crystalline silica dust, Industrial Vacuum provides a system that is compliant with OSHA’s new clean air standards and helps to keep silica dust from building up at your foundry.

Vactagon HEPA Shop Vacuums

Our Vactagon Industrial High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuum cleaners do what most conventional vacuums cannot by trapping airborne particles that are as small as .3 microns within their filter. These vacuums are equipped with a dust collection attachment for power tools that aims to collect silica dust right as it forms, also known as new dust. Commercial HEPA vacuums are built to withstand any wet, dry, or hazardous substance and work extremely well for employee clothing decontamination due to their compact size and portability.

Trailer-Mounted and Skid-Mounted Industrial Vacuums

For larger projects and more intense clean-up needs, we provide trailer and skid-mounted industrial vacuums. Trailer-mounted industrial vacuums are extremely beneficial for larger facilities that have multiple locations that need vacuuming. The versatility of our trailer-mounted Hurricane™ Vacuums allows you to load bags dust-free while other competitive models load into hoppers that create a dust cloud when dumped. The Hurricane™ vacuums also have the ability to raise dust up to 9 feet to dump into dumpsters. With our dust sleeves option, you can also load dumpsters without the hazardous dust cloud. If a portable industrial vacuum isn’t what you need, we also offer powerful, yet compact skid-mounted electric Hurricane™ models. Both types are perfect for cleaning dust build-up after a long day of sand or metal casting.

Stationary and Portable Silica Dust Collection Systems

In the circumstance of airborne silica dust, dust collection or mechanical ventilation systems should be provided to eliminate impurities from the workers’ breathing zone. While Industrial Vacuum offers both portable and stationary dust collection systems, foundries are ideally in need of a stationary system that can be located in the cleaning room. All of our dust collection models are made up of heavy-duty steel and include self-cleaning cartridge filters that are easy to access.

At Industrial Vacuum we supply vacuums and dust collection systems to meet and exceed the silica dust clean-up needs in foundries as well as several other industries. We offer brand-new and pre-owned systems and provide industrial vacuum rental or dust collection system rentals for small or one-time projects. Contact us today and we will assist you in finding the best system for your foundry so that you can meet compliance by this upcoming June!