It is important for manufacturers who use powder coatings in their facilities to take steps to prevent them from causing accidents and injuries. Here are two such steps.
Make sure the dust does not come into contact with sources of ignition
The dust that is flung into the air during the powder coating process can explode if it comes into contact with a source of ignition.
A dust explosion in a manufacturing facility could have disastrous consequences. In addition to endangering the lives of the employees working in the building, it could also result in the destruction of the facility's raw materials, finished products and expensive equipment. This, in turn, could lead to the facility being shut down.
As such, it is absolutely critical for manufacturers to ensure that the dust generated by the process of applying powder coatings does not land on near any open flames, hot equipment, matches, or exposed electrical wiring that could potentially produce sparks.
There are several ways to do this. Firstly, the section of the facility in which the powder coating process takes place should feature a ventilation system with a powerful extractor fan; this will ensure that most of the airborne dust that is produced during the powder coating application process will be absorbed by the ventilation system before it starts to settle on or near any potential sources of ignition.
Secondly, any employees who will be involved in the usage of powder coatings should not begin their work until they have inspected the nearby area for the presence of open flames or other ignition sources. If they come across any items which could potentially cause a dust explosion, they should remove these goods from the area before they begin applying the powder coatings.
Implement strict rules regarding how employees should behave around powder coatings
It is important for manufacturers to implement strict rules regarding what behaviours are acceptable when employees are working with or near powder coating equipment.
For example, manufacturers should not allow their employees to eat or drink when standing within a few metres of the powder coatings.
The reason for this is that if even a few specks of powder coating dust land on a person's food or drink, and they then put one of the items into their mouth, they could end up ingesting some of this dust.
This could have serious consequences, as powder coating dust can contain a whole host of potentially hazardous chemicals which, if consumed, could cause severe internal injuries and illnesses.
As such, it is best for manufacturers to insist that employees who are involved in the powder coating process exit this part of the facility before they begin to consume their meals.