Be it a failure in understanding the severity of combustible dust hazards or simply ignoring safety standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a common mistake made by many companies is putting their faith behind an under-performing yet affordable Shop-Vac when cleaning their work space. One bakery in Miami, FL, however, is learning the hard way that neglecting OSHA’s rulings on removing combustible dust with a proper industrial vacuum cleaner comes with a hefty price, begging the question: How much will a Shop-Vac really cost you?
According to The Miami Herald, the answer is somewhere within the realm of $67,261, as OSHA has proposed a fine of that exact amount to the Miami Gardens-based Bakery Corporation, a maker of bagels, danish, muffins, and other bread products for commercial clients such as airlines and hospitals, after encountering 15 serious violations within their baking facility. Among those violations included one stating, “A Shop-Vac (Ryobi) was used to collect combustible dust (flour and/or flour mixture) in a Class 2, Division II location, exposing employees to fire and explosion hazards.”
Shop-Vacs are cheap in cost and readily available at your local home improvement store, but they are not built to collect combustible dusts that pose a hazard inside of environments where a spark can enter and can easily ignite its contents, causing a serious accident leading to property damage, or even injury or death of workers. A certified explosion proof vacuum by Ruwac, especially one recommended for food and grain dust, is made from carbon impregnated compression cast composite housing that eliminates the possibility of a static discharge and is certified under 8 cubic feet for indoor use. They also feature industry-leading filtration for fine dust that prevents clogging and caking, and will in turn provide you a durable vacuum solution the lasts a greater lifespan.
While they require more of an investment compared to your average Shop-Vac, the price of failing to comply with OSHA standards on combustible dust collection in the form of fines and closer scrutiny to your facility, as well as preventing accidents and injury, is well worth the cost in the long run.