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Beware of impostors when it comes to combustible dust and explosion-proof equipment!

Posted on July 1, 2011

ImpostorWhen it comes to combustible dust housekeeping, choosing the right cleaning equipment can be a difficult decision. There are many options to choose from & the purchase of a properly-equipped industrial vacuum cleaner that can safely minimize dust accumulations should be viewed as an investment that will keep workers safe & regulatory agencies out of your facility.

But beware of impostors! There are fellow vacuum manufacturers who are “muddying the waters” by making false claims. One example is a company who has been touting their air-operated vacuum cleaners as approved by an OSHA NRTL (nationally recognized testing laboratory) and referring to them as “explosion-proof.” Unfortunately, this simply isn’t possible. At this point in time, only electric equipment can be approved or certified  “explosion-proof” for hazardous environments. There are no recognized product safety standards or organizations  in North America that certify air-operated or pneumatic equipment for use in hazardous locations.

We’ve also heard companies mislead folks by stating or implying that their equipment is “OSHA Approved” or “OSHA certified.” OSHA does NOT certify, recommend, or approve any type of equipment. It is simply their role to develop, regulate and enforce health and safety rules and guidelines in the workplace.

As a reminder, here is what you SHOULD look for when choosing an EXP vacuum for hazardous locations.

  • True explosion-proof/dust ignition-proof vacuums should be engineered from the ground up to prevent combustible dust explosions.
  • All parts should be grounded and built from non-sparking materials – from the outer shell to the switches, motor, filters, and accessories
  • Manufacturers should be careful of vacuums that are promoted as explosion-proof, but are really only standard models with a few antistatic options added on
  • OSHA does NOT certify or approve any vacuum cleaner. Only Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL), such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), has the authority to certify vacuum cleaners as explosion-proof or dust ignition-proof.
  • When electricity is unavailable or undesirable, safe pneumatic vacuums are excellent alternatives to electric explosion-proof vacuums
  • All pneumatic (air-operated) vacuums are not explosion-proof vacuums
  • Safe pneumatic vacuums should be constructed of non-sparking materials, like stainless steel, with ignition-proof parts that meet the highest level of operational safety

Want to know more, visit www.explosionproof-vacuum.com.