Downdraft tables play a more important role than you might think. They protect a facility’s crew from catastrophic explosions, and from horrifying diseases. Here’s how.
Combustible Dust Incidents.
One of the chief reasons downdraft tables are such crucial pieces of equipment to have on site is the potential of combustible dust incidents. A wide range of materials can all produce combustible dust, which can come as the result of such industrial activities as welding, cutting, brazing, and grinding. For example, the dust from foods, tobacco, grains, paper, wood, rubber, pulp, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and metals can all be combustible. Though uncommon, combustible dust incidents are not rare. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports between 1980 and 2005, there were 281 combustible dust incidents, which caused 119 fatalities, 718 workers to become injured, and extensive damage to a number of facilities. If there are combustible dust collection systems on site, though, such incidents can be prevented.
It’s also important to make sure there are downdraft table on site to protect workers from silicosis. Many materials that are often worked on contain a substance called silica. If exposed to high levels of this substance, workers can develop a debilitating and potentially fatal disease called silicosis after just a few weeks or months. Each year, hundreds of workers die of silicosis, and hundreds more become disabled, making them unable to care for their families, or themselves. Over the past four decades, more than 14,000 U.S. workers have died from silicosis. Industrial dust collection systems can sweep up any silica, thusly preventing workers from being exposed to it, and saving them from silicosis.
Downdraft tables are vital assets for any industrial facility. These pieces of equipment can protect workers from explosive dust, and from silica, both of which can have fatal consequences. Without downdraft tables on site, industrial workers simply aren’t safe.
If you have any questions about the dangers industrial dust can pose, feel free to share in the comments.