Wood dust can be a nuisance when you’re working in a woodshop or a wood factory. While you and your employees are working hard, making sure your products are perfect, you have to consider your safety and health first. The dust itself can be a dangerous substance that will harm you and your employees in many different ways.
That is why it is important to have a dust collector in your garage or woodshop. It can make a valuable difference and safeguard your health in the long run. So here are some tips on the importance of dust collectors and why you need one for safety and health reasons.
One of the most efficient ways to collect wood dust is by collecting and exhausting the dust at its source. You want a free, dust-free environment where you and your employees are comfortable to work.
What is a dust collector?
A dust collector is a machine system that collects dust and other impurities from industrial and commercial processes’ air, which in a process, improve the air. It is designed to transport dust and other tiny particles in large volumes with enough velocity power generated by each dust machine. The dust collector system consists of,
- Dust filter
- A filter-cleaning system
- dust removal system
The dust collector isn’t similar to air cleaners. Air cleaners are designed to clean the air and don’t move the remaining particles to another location. A dust collector does that; it provides better protection, keeping the airborne clean and healthy.
Therefore, if you decided to buy one, here are the three things to consider when you’re looking for the right dust collector. First, identify what kind of dust your workplace generates in the air. Second, understand where is the dust forming. Lastly, establish how much air volume will be needed to capture and control the dust surrounding your workplace.
Dust collector’s role
In most woodworking shops and factories, a lot of wood chips and dust particles are in the air because of its usage machinery and tools. These fragments of the wood can be a health and safety risk for those who work in these shops and factories.
In other words, the wood chips will accumulate and can lead to a fire and tripping hazard. Not only that, fine dust can be a serious health risk as it builds up in the air, leading to breathing problems and other health issues. With this in mind, the dust collector’s role is to target fine wood dust, wood chips and other types of dust, like the one forming when working on sand blasting, stones, fibreglass, etc.
By all means, the dust collector is an excellent system to ensure that your woodshops are a safe and clean environments for you and your employees.
Dust collector’s options
There are so many varieties of dust collectors out there. However, it’s all about choosing the right one for your woodshops. While some will do an excellent job in collecting the fine dust and smaller wood chips, you must also consider the follwoign questions before choosing one:
What kind of dust collector is the best option for you and your type of workshop? In what ways it will provide better air quality? What kind of design should it have?
If your workshop is small, it is best to buy a dust collector that doesn’t take up a lot of floor space and is flexible to move around. If your workshop is the size of a factory, it’s best to buy one that has a ventilation system and is meant to be installed outside, so the fine dust doesn’t keep building.
Advantages of dust collectors
Dust collectors decrease fire risk. All wood shops’ activities tend to generate massive amounts of fine wood dust particles and these can start a fire. Any activities that can make smoke are particularly dangerous, especially in woodworking.
Get the right one for you by choosing the dust collector that has a ventilation system. There are other types too that offer a filter system. However, in the long run, they tend to cost more money as you’ll need to replace the filters every 3 months. Dust collectors with filter systems are recommended for external intallation.
If you choose the one with the ventilation system, not only it is cheaper in the long run but also safer and cleaner as the system will be install outside.
Air quality and control
Most of the dust collectors come in regular tool hoods, with the purpose to capture and control the fine dust surrounding the woodshops. With this in mind, invisible wood dust is light, in the form of microscopic particles and tends to behave like a bad odour in a shared work environment.
Thus, these light, fine particles can quickly spread, contaminating any air space. Therefore, upgrade the tool hoods for better breathable air. This will improve the cleanliness in the workplace.
With dust collectors, you will not only provide a clean and safe air to breathe in your working space but also, you will successfully reduces workers’ sick days and work injuries. With that in mind, this outcome will increase productivity during working hours.
Fine-dust health risks
All kinds of airborne dust can be harmful to your breathing capabilities. It can cause irritation, coughing, sneezing, hay fever and even asthma attacks. Your lungs can build up a significant amount of dust residues that can cause infection, especially fine dust exposures. The longer you breathe in the dust, the greater the chance that it may affect your health state.
Breathing high concentration of fine specks of dust can reduce lung function in the long term, and it may contribute to chronic bronchitis disorder or any heart and lung disorders. Therefore, it is imperative to get a dust collector in the workshops.
All fine specks of dust may be unhealthy, but wood dust is the worst among all. Wood dust has razor sharp edges that could damage and scar our lungs tissue. Moreover, they carry toxic chemicals which can cause serious long- term problems, such as inflammation, respiratory problems, asthma or worse, like nerve damages and increasing the risk of cancer.
Once the dust has set into your lungs, it will take a long time to get rid of it. It’s a serious matter when it comes to your life and health. Moreover, wood dust that comes from the trees like mimosa, yew and oleander are poisonous when you breathe these in; it can lead to severe lung damage.
To put in another way, if you want to live a long, healthy life, consider installing a dust collector to vent out these particles for a safe and clean, breathable environment.
Even though these dust collectors do an excellent job venting out these wood dust, you still need to protect yourself and your employees by wearing a mask and eye goggles at all times while working on wood or other materials. Keep your mask and eye goggles on until you leave the shop.
It is important to wear a long, cover-body apron in the shop to avoid collecting dust on your clothes so when you’re home or in a vehicle, the dust particles won’t contaminate the environment. By all means, it’s never too late to be careful. So, wear a hat or scarf while you’re doing some woodwork so your hair doesn’t collect any specks of dust. Also, wash up or clean yourself up before leaving the woodshop. You don’t want to bring any harmful, fine dust particles that may affect your home’s environment.
To conclude, your health comes first. The dust collector is design to keep your work environment safe and clean breathable environment. A lot of woodwork shops tend to generate a lot of subtle, invisible dust particles, which can cause problems. I is imperative to act quickly and find the right dust collector for you.