All manufacturing industries have workplace hazards, and the woodworking sector is no different. Even though the raw material in this instance is completely natural, the various processes involved in cutting, turning, sanding and shaping the wood lead to the production of large volumes of dust which is a marked problem for the safety of workers as well as the factory in general.
Beware of Wood Dust!
Although non-toxic, wood dust is something that logging and sawing mills can’t overlook. Suspended particles in the air may cause a plethora of health problems for those who inhale them regularly.
As per OSHA mandates, the permissible exposure limit is 15 mg/m3 over an eight hour weighted average. Anything more and employees are at risk of nasal and respiratory tract obstructions, dermatitis, allergic reactions and prolonged colds.
Most factories require air blown at very high speed to brush off the wood dust from the surface of finished products, and in the absence of effective collection and adequate ventilation, any stray sparking could lead to the combustion of the dust clouds that hover over the equipment. Wood particles are highly combustible and the intensity of the resulting fire often causes considerable damage to life and property.
The wood dust on the factory floor is another cause of concern. It reduces traction and causes workers to slip and fall leading to injury if not properly maintained.
A New Solution
Commonly dust collection duct work and exhaust systems are recommended as a possible solution for wood work factories. But these measures are not fool proof. Hoses that are abrasion resistant tend to be quite thick and unwieldy. They take up a lot of floor space and are costly to install. Moreover translucent plastic gets murky and the wood dust is lodged in the grooves of the hoses reducing their ability to collect and dispose the offending particles.
At Flexaust we have introduced an alternative to traditional dust hoses. Our new polyurethane Flx-Thane series hose line, available in five wall thicknesses, is up to the tasks of both light collection and heavy duty cleaning. The material is strong and flexible, possessing excellent tear strength. The light weight hose is reinforced with a bronze coated spring steel wire helix, and can be accommodated in the most congested working spaces. It is also completely transparent allowing users to gauge their effectiveness and conduct emergency cleaning if necessary to bump up the capacity.
If you are interested in learning more about our products, or you would like to order a sample, please contact us here.