Dust lying around is a nuisance; dust released into the air and ignited by a spark is much more serious. Dust explosions are one of the leading causes of workplace injury in the grain industry, resulting in loss of production, property damage, and even injury and death. Since 2006, the Chemical Safety Board has investigated dust-related incidents that have killed 27 workers and injured 61 more.
Despite the potentially dire consequences, many plant managers are operating with antiquated or nonfunctioning hazard monitoring systems or, worse yet, operating without a system in place at all. Plant managers may see readings come back from their bearing, alignment, and speed sensors and assume everything is working as intended, but this isn’t always the case.
Conducting an annual audit of your hazard monitoring system can provide peace of mind – you can ensure the integrity and safety of your team while improving efficiency at your plant.
A proper audit will reduce the likelihood of an incident while providing preventive maintenance. It will include:
- A visual inspection of alignment sensor rub blocks to determine if they need replacement
- Single point checks on each bearing and alignment sensor to verify they are sensing temperature accurately and alerting operators when hazards are detected
- Vibration sensor checks to verify alarm function
- Single point checks to each speed sensor to verify they are sensing zero speed correctly and that each leg is shutting down properly through the interlock
The benefits underscore how important an annual audit can be. When you have an experienced professional audit or install your hazard monitoring system, you can:
- Detect unsafe conditions before it’s too late
- Achieve OSHA 1910.272 (m)(1)(i) compliance
- Identify and complete critical repairs
- Troubleshoot and solve inefficiencies
- Avoid unplanned downtime and worker injury
- Gain confidence that your system will keep workers safe
It’s crucial to choose the right provider for your hazard monitoring audit. You want to choose a company that works with all brands of hazard monitoring systems and can perform repairs and installation of equipment in addition to the audit. Find experts who can uncover false protections/liabilities and provide mitigation plans that ensure your systems are reliable and fully functional.
With your hazard monitoring system maintained and updated by experienced professionals, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that your workers are being protected and your equipment is functioning correctly. Interstates’ experience in the grain handling industry allows us to offer complete hazard monitoring solutions, from audits to installations.
Reach out today to see how we can help you achieve compliance and peace of mind about your hazard monitoring system.
This blog was originally published in the Current Connections Winter 2022 issue.