Importance of Keeping Your Warehouse Facility Dust-Free

Category: Equipment and Solutions

Man on forklift moving products

Dust can be a major concern in warehouses, causing health issues as well as mechanical damage. Employees can easily breathe in harmful dust, and these particles can settle on equipment and lead to damage. The importance of dust reduction strategies at your facility cannot be overstated.

In particular, dust can significantly affect the performance of your forklifts. Maintaining a dust-free forklift is possible by first learning more about the types of dust, and then following a few maintenance steps to control dust in your warehouse.

Types of Dust

Before you implement a plan for forklift dust control, it’s crucial to understand the most common types of dust in warehouses.

Combustible Dust

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines combustible dust as any fine material that can catch fire and explode when mixed with air. This type of dust can be created from processing a variety of materials including agricultural, chemical, metal and plastic dust particles. OSHA regulations require that forklifts must be rated for operation in hazardous areas where combustible dust is present.

Silica Dust

Silica is a mineral commonly found in construction materials such as cement, mortar and concrete. Silica dust, also known as crystalline silica, is produced when these materials are crushed or drilled. Silica is the most dangerous type of construction dust and is classified as a carcinogen. It can also severely damage your equipment, causing costly problems such as engine failure and wear-and-tear on the cylinders and pistons.

Tips for Forklift Dust Control

Dust can cause all kinds of problems for your forklift, including issues with the engine, poor fuel efficiency, oil contamination and more. Take these four steps to keep your forklift safe from the damaging effects of both combustible and silica dust:

  • Clean regularly: Brush and power wash your forklift regularly to remove dust particles. Clean the air filter on a regular basis to ensure it continues to work effectively.
  • Use a cyclone air filter: Cyclone filters clean the air before they’re used, helping them last longer and stay unclogged.
  • Consider a belly plate: Belly plate protection will prevent the engine from sucking up dirt and dust on the ground.
  • Survey the worksite: Examine areas of your facility that need to be cleaned thoroughly. You can also consider processes that are more environmentally friendly to reduce the amount of dust that is created in the work area.

Contact RAKA for Material Handling Equipment and Service Solutions

At RAKA, we carry the industry’s top brands in material handling equipment, including Caterpillar, Mitsubishi, Jungheinrich, Big Joe and more. Our team of experts is here to help you find cost-effective solutions that will best serve your business. We’ve been helping businesses across the upper Midwest increase productivity and reduce costs since the 1970s. In addition, our service team can provide comprehensive maintenance solutions for any machine, regardless of make or model.

Contact us online or give us a call at 888.404.7252 to learn more about how the material handling equipment and services from RAKA can benefit your business.

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