How to Protect Workers When Removing Hazardous Building Materials

foundry worker

High-efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) equipped drum top vacuums are powerhouses when it comes to the removal and disposal of sensitive materials. Having the correct vacuum is one step, but the next step is protecting those using the fully equipped vacuum. This means individuals should be conscious of the sensitive materials that can be ingested by the drum top vacuum and should understand the safety precautions that need to be taken.

How Sensitive Materials Can Affect Workers 

Lead, mold, asbestos, vermiculite, and insulation removal are hazardous by-products of construction projects. If absorbed by the bloodstream, major organ systems may be damaged resulting in anemia. Workers could absorb and transport these hazardous dust putting those around them in danger of exposure.

If workers are exposed to concrete and silica dust, they can acquire silicosis which has no cure. Silicosis is caused when scar tissue forms decreasing the lungs ability to generate oxygen. Silicosis is applicable to multiple environments, including construction sites where drilling, shredding granite, concrete, sandstone, abrasive sand, etc. are present; foundry and fracking operating sites using sand; and, of course, when cutting into or busting up concrete.

When exposed to combustible dust, workers are more susceptible to nervous system, kidney, and blood damage. Combustible dust can be found in food and grain manufacturing and storage facilities, and many more.

Powder coating paint is only hazardous if workers make direct skin to skin contact, however if exposed occupational asthma and skin irritation/sensitivity may occur.

Hazardous waste leaves workers with the risk of radiation exposure. Power plants are examples of where hazardous waste can be found.

How Industrial Vacuums make the Disposal Process Smooth

The Vactagon drum top vacuums paired with drum liners can collect substances generated from lead, mold and asbestos, allowing for the bags to be taken away and disposed of by the workers, safely and effectively.

Special attachments are not always necessary for the cleanup process of hazardous waste. Powder coating paint, paint, sand blasting, plastering dust and drywall dust can be cleaned up using a portable Vactagon environmentally friendly vacuum and disposed of by the workers using the bags within the vacuum.

For jobs creating crystalline silica dust, utilizing a vacuum-assisted power tool with a portable Vactagon vacuum, the motion of the power tool will transport most of the dust directly into the vacuum. The excess may be clean up after the cutting, grinding, crushing or drilling is complete.

Foundry’s and Fracking operating sites creating copious amounts of sand is another example where a vacuum can be used to remove crystalline silica dust.

Combustible dust is hazardous for obvious reasons. Vactagon vacuums are equipped with explosion proof vacuums and grounded hoses to ensure no combustion when cleaning dust. By being bonded, grounded, fully conductive, and featuring TEFC motors there is zero contact with dust-laden air.

An example of combustible dust can be found in manufacturing and storage facilities where there is a risk of food and grain dust catching fire.

When working with construction dust, and wood working dust it is suggested to use a Vactagon filtered vacuum utilizing an inline drum filler or Cyclone separator.  

Packaging waste must be suctioned up to combat waste buildup, to maximize efficiency for workers and systems, and to reduce risk of contamination to materials being packaged.

Hazardous waste is suctioned into the HEPA filter vacuum. Air output is filtered, returning only clean air, and internalizing harmful material.

Don’t believe the HEPA filter vacuum can take on metal dust shavings? Well it can. The movable vacuum provides immense power for suctioning even the toughest of materials.

Cyclone separator systems allows for dangerous contaminants, such as vermiculite and insulation to never touch workers during the transferring process. This process results in clean air and a clean environment for workers.

Vactagon Industrial HEPA Vacuums

Ranging from lead, mold and asbestos remediation, to foundry dust and sand, the HEPA drum vacs can collect a range of materials. If you want to ensure the safety of your workers check out our HEPA filter vacuums. Feel free to contact us if you have more questions or inquiries on our products.