If you’re in an industry that deals with combustible particles, you know that making sure you have vacuums that can withstand a potential ignition is paramount to not only the safety of your employees but the success of your business. With that in mind, choosing an explosion proof vacuum that meets the standards and requirements needed for optimum safety is a must-have. At the Just In Case explosion proof blog, we understand that concern, and have some tips that can help you make the right decision before you lay your money down.
1. Has it been through an OSHA NRTL?
OSHA is of course the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is responsible for regulating workplace safety and health standards, as well as providing training, outreach, education and assistance. Their NRTLs (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories) are responsible for making sure that products and machinery are safe for a company’s employees to use before it becomes implemented on the factory floor. Things like making sure a vacuum is made of non-sparking material, has a redundant grounding method and is made of components that are approved for use in explosive atmospheres. You can learn more about this by visiting our FAQ on Explosion Proof Vacuums.
2. Does it meet UL Standards?
For those not familiar with UL standards: the UL is a global independent safety science company that offers expertise in the areas of product safety, environment, life & health, knowledge services and verification services. Regarding explosion proof vacuums, their goal is to publish specifications for those products that interact with fire and live electricity and make sure they are acceptable for use in a safe working environment. While they cover a number of other standards including asset security and environmental safety, having a UL certified explosion proof vacuum is another way you can be sure that your vacuum is safe for industrial use with potentially explosive particulates.
3. Does it meet CSA Standards?
Much like the UL, the CSA is focused on making sure that devices such as an explosion proof vacuum are safe for use in an industrial environment. These standards, however, specifically relate to Canada and industries that operate from Canada. The standards are high, though, and can be used as a good bar to judge whether or not your explosion proof vacuum is the best fit for your company. The CSA’s standards are living documents, which are often revised and modified to address changes in an ever-growing industry. To learn more about the specific requirements, you can visit their website by clicking here.
4. Does it meet ATEX Standards?
The ATEX directives serve the purpose of describing what kinds of equipment are allowed in an environment with an explosive atmosphere. Areas that have gas, vapor or mist that might be susceptible to ignition are classified into zones, and the equipment that would be used in these environs are judged accordingly. From lightning strikes to high surface temperatures to adiabatic compression, any location in which a machine may have adverse effects related to its atmosphere are judged. The most recent edition of the ATEX guidelines are available here for perusal.
By asking yourself these questions before making a decision regarding equipment used under potentially hazardous conditions, you can rest easy knowing that the confidence placed in your machinery is not yours alone. To learn more about selecting an explosion proof vacuum, or to learn more about the standards to which explosion proof vacuums are held, visit our FAQ page.