There are an estimated 16,000 to 18,000 indoor firing ranges in the United States. Law enforcement officials as well as hobbyists use these ranges to sharpen their skills. Many indoor ranges are located in urban areas and due to the confined spaces are at higher risk of exposing employees and customers to hazardous noise and lead levels.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recognizes the importance of worker and customer safety and fines may be levied if protective steps are not taken. Some of the guidelines provided to range operators include, providing workers and customers with:
- information and training to prevent lead exposure and other hazards;
- information about symptoms which may indicate a health problem; and
- effective engineering and administrative controls such as protective equipment and HEPA vacuums for lead clean up and disposal
The ideal vacuum for firing range maintenance should come standard with a HEPA filter to pick up fine dust as well as have enough suction to pick up lead slug. Vacuums featuring a portable design and small foot print provide maneuverability in small spaces and easy storage. Equipment should come with a variety of brushes and crevice nozzles and a floor nozzle for quick isle cleanup. (Read our firing range case study with Heritage Guild)
NOTE: It is up to the individual range to determine whether a standard industrial-strength or certified explosion-proof vacuum is required. Please consult your local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).
Post provided by Vince Dimento, Senior Customer Support Representative.