Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and no longer represents OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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Operating Procedures
No dust control system can perform reliably unless it is operated properly. To achieve reliability, the following measures are suggested:
  • Educate operators on startup and shutdown procedures of dust control systems and the use of blast gates
  • Instruct operators that all dust control systems should be in operation before any processing equipment is started
  • Eliminate the use of compressed air jets to clean accumulated dust from equipment or clothing and substitute a vacuum cleaning system
  • Use a vacuum cleaning system to clean spills and dust accumulations, void using brooms and shovels
  • Use water pressure, where applicable, to clean equipment during plant shutdown or as necessary
  • Check the speed of belt conveyors and slow then down, if possible, to reduce dust circulation and spillage
  • Install an alarm to sound when a dust collector stops operating
  • Develop procedures of handling process upsets which may overload conveyors and dust collectors

Preventive Maintenance Program
A preventive maintenance (PM) program is the key to reliable and efficient operation of any dust control equipment or system. When instituting a PM program, the following points should be considered:
  • Conduct PM programs on all dust control system hardware and components, as well as dust producing sources, during plant shutdown or as recommended by the equipment manufacturer
  • Carry all necessary spare parts in sufficient quantities
  • Give high priority to patching holes, caulking and sealing cracks, and maintaining dust seals
  • Inspect and adjust all belt conveyors and their skirting rubber and dust seals
  • Replace torn or defective conveyor belts
  • Inspect belt conveyor idlers and nonmoving idlers
  • Remove and replace missing or broken idlers
  • Inspect all belt conveyor training idlers, adjust as necessary so the conveyor belt does not travel laterally
  • Shut and clamp all access and inspection doors before any operation begins
  • Inspect all dust seals and repair or replace
  • Rotate periodic cleanup among crews
  • Inspect belt scrapers on belt conveyors and adjust, replace worn-out components
  • Measure velocity and static pressures weekly
  • Check for plugged ductwork and clean immediately.
  • If plugging occurs repeatedly, redesign the ductwork
  • Develop safeguards to prevent overflowing bins and overloading conveyors

Examples of Common Problems
associated with dust collection systems
The following link to pictures which show problems often associated with dust collection systems.
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