What is required of a newly installed dust collection system , as in:
Spark detection, back blast gates, dampers, etc.
Little concerned about a facility I work in, they put in a 50,000 cfm huge, system, piped return air straight in to building, with no safety features at all.
Seems like a bomb waiting to go off to me.
Also they have bipassed door locks on the moulder running doors open, and are missing many estops, switch at front to keep 2 boards from going in on top of each other removed. This has caused heads to explode, and at least one person to get hit by a broken knife and injured.
Really just looking for opinions on the situation, Thanks
I would consider asking them if if it possible to get the molder safety items back functioning again. If you don't think they will ever do it by your request, then keep quiet and go directly to OSHA. You can call OSHA and make a complaint where your name will not be used when they come to your employer's business.
I worked in a shop that refused to supply and discouraged hearing protection, and I have significant hearing loss from those years. Hearing aids at a young age. I regret not being more assertive - now that it is too late.
Dust collection varies from state to state, but that does not sound good. OSHA will also look at that when they do an inspection of the entire facility.
There is nothing wrong with safe equipment and a supportive environment.
BGD, I believe NFPA 664 states that woodworking dust collection systems under 5,000 cfm require spark detection. Woodworking dust collection systems 5,000 cfm+ require spark detection and abort gate damper. It depends on which publication that the authority having jurisdiction such as the fire department utilizes.
You are right to be concerned. If management doesn't care enough to deal with the problem, it is up to the local fire marshal and/or OSHA to enforce the rules. I would be looking for a new situation. Has the moulder operator's injury not triggered a safety inspection from the insurer or OSHA?
The operator that lost his job ostensibly for getting injured has a good lawsuit ready to go. Very simple, all he has to do is talk to an independent employment attorney. Your employer has no defense. You can testify if you are called, but cannot lose your job for it. Granted, you will be fired for a minor infraction, but it would be fun to watch.
I am no fan of employees suing employers, but there are times when it is the right thing to do.
I've been through all of this during the past three years and bought a system at auction with all the latest safety devices before the NFPA issued the updated 664 Standard and prices and availability went thru the roof.
Somebody mentioned systems under 5000 CFM require spark detectors but not abort gate. This makes no sense if you think about it. A detector sees a spark in a combustible stream of debris but since there is no downstream shut off or fire suppression devices then what ? There is also some talk about state to state requirements but the truth is that the NFPA. and OSHA have issued standards which are used across the board by insurance underwriters and almost every local fire department and inspection department.
Anyway it is all explained and detailed in the latest You need to read it and find out if your system and application apply. It has to do with max CFM, certain machines such as wide belt sanders etc etc. If you are moving 5000 or more CFM's then you fall within the standard's regulations
A great deal of OSHA's specs are taken from the NFPA since they test and develop the specs through various technical committees. These committees are made up of various experts many of which run large wood related businesses and do indeed know what they are talking about plus an array of engineering or specialized testing labs
It's not just one or two insurance companies or a hard nosed loss control inspector driving this -- it's a safety standard now so all companies will follow it. Even if you find some dub inspector who doesn't write it up it is likely you may have a loss denied since most policies have clauses or wording that states you must comply with local, state, federal or industry standards.
The bottom line is that anybody who was looking saw this coming and if you were ahead of the herd you got some breaks. Too late now and as we all know if it is anything related to mandated safety there are never any price deals.
In Illinois, there is a free safety program operated by the state. They will come and inspect your facility and help you make a list of things necessary to bring you up to OSHA compliance. They are not compelled to inform OSHA of anything that they find (unless it is glaringly dangerous), although they will give you a time frame, usually a year, to get the most important things done. if your company can afford a 50,000 cfm dust collector, they can afford to do this. This can save money on insurance costs which I guarantee will skyrocket if you have OSHA recordable injuries. The hospital emergency rooms are now compelled to report work related injuries, so do not think you can just avoid these safety regulations. Guarding machines is a number one priority, and machine manufacturers are NOT responsible in ANY way for the safety of your employees. It is all up to company management to do whatever is necessary to provide workplace safety. See attached link. My state is in the process of switching this to a federal program, and was backlogged last time we participated in the program. Highly recommended.
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