Down draft tables are vital pieces of equipment to have on premises for one simple reason: they protect your workers from terribly dangerous situations. Both the threat of combustible dust, and crystalline silica can hang heavy over industrial workers. Here’s what you should know.
Believe it or not, dust can explode. A fire needs three basic elements, the fuel, the ignition source, and oxygen. In a combustible dust explosion, the dust is the fuel; heat is the ignition source; and oxygen is the, well, oxygen. Additionally, combustible dust explosions also need the dispersion of dust particles in sufficient quantity, and concentration, and the confinement of the dust cloud.
This happens more frequently than you might imagine. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation has identified a staggering 281 combustible dust incidents between 1980 and 2005. These incidents led to the deaths of 119 workers, injuries of 718 more, and extensive damaged of numerous industrial facilities. Between 2009 and 2013, there were another 57 combustible dust incidents that killed 26, and injured 129.
Fortunately, there are combustible dust collection systems that can ensure a facility’s crew is safe.
Combustible dust isn’t the only dust that can threaten the lives of industrial site workers. Crystalline silica is a huge issue, too.
Many of the materials that are ground, and worked on contain a substance called silica. Granite, for example, is 70% silica. Breathing in this material can lead to a dangerous disease called silicosis, which more than 14,000 workers in the U.S. have died from since 1968. It only takes weeks, or months after being exposed to crystalline silica to develop this disease, too.
Each year, hundreds more workers die, and hundreds more become disabled, making them unable to care for themselves, and their families. There are actually more than 1 million workers in the U.S. that are at risk of developing silicosis.
Down draft tables are an important part of any facility, because they’re the industrial dust collection systems that can keep workers safe. If you have any questions about downdraft tables, feel free to share in the comments.