State regulatory bodies are recommending wet sweepers as a means of managing airborne and lingering dust in industrial facilities. Chester Larsen explains the solutions Conquest offer to support you in conducting regulatory-compliant floor cleaning.
In an industrial landscape marked by palpable and sometimes imperceptible dangers, one hazard often slips through unnoticed yet exercises a profound impact on the health and wellbeing of the workforce: dust.
“The challenge in a lot of facilities is the accumulation of industrial dust on surrounding equipment, walls and floors” says Chester Larsen, National Sales Manager at Conquest Equipment. “It’s not always recognised for its ability to cause harm to staff or the working group at a facility.”
The menace of silica dust in particular, which is commonly sourced from materials like engineered stone, bricks, concrete, and sandstone, is amplified by its lingering presence in the air and its ability to traverse beyond its point of creation.
While many facilities focus meticulously on the source and generation point of the dust, an often-overlooked aspect is where it eventually settles.
“A lot is concentrated on the source of the dust, that is, where it’s generated, but not always where it’s landing,” Chester says. “And that’s part of the problem. It doesn’t just impact the area where it’s created; it impacts the surrounding areas, too.”
The insidious nature of silica dust lies not just in its omnipresence but in its near-invisibility. Silica particles are so minute that they effortlessly linger airborne, quietly infiltrating every nook and cranny of an industrial setting.
To combat airborne dust, the use of water mist is becoming increasingly common in industrial and construction settings, as recommended by State regulatory bodies.
The utilisation of mist becomes a plausible technique to quite literally dampen the threat, by weighting the dust particles and coaxing them to settle, thus reducing the time they spend airborne.
And with the dust issue front-of-mind for regulatory bodies, many have issued recommendations and guidelines that wet sweeping – rather than dry-sweeping – is the appropriate method of cleaning for industrial settings. Conquest is across these recommendations and has the wet-sweeping solutions to meet regulatory requirements.
Navigating these landscapes isn’t just about managing current realities but also about remaining agile amidst an evolving regulatory terrain.
“It’s important to stay close to the state-based workplace safety regulators,” Chester says.
“They are evolving as we collectively better understand the risks of silica dust, and they want to work with manufacturers, businesses, and construction companies to improve dust control practices.”
This evolution and collaborative approach between regulatory bodies and industries hint at a future where safety isn’t just policy but intrinsically woven into the operational tapestry of industrial facilities.
Dampening the threat of dust
Delving deeper into the realms of industrial safety, Chester details not merely the challenges silica dust poses but the pragmatic, tangible solutions that have been developed to manage the risks effectively. The meticulous application of water, particularly through misting methods, is highlighted as a key strategy: “Using water is one of the most effective ways to neutralise airborne dust altogether,” he says.
“When you have a standard broom or the brooms on a sweeping machine, if they aren’t having water applied prior to them contacting the ground, you will push some dust up into the air. To guard against this you need to ensure that water is applied either directly to the bristles of the broom or to the cleaning zone directly in front of the broom.”
Additionally, when the wet dust is collected and disposed of at the end of the clean, it won’t become airborne again when it’s emptied – another challenge when dumping dry dust into waste hoppers.
Amidst these practices emerges technology designed not only to combat the particulate threat but also to align seamlessly with the day-to-day realities of industrial environments.
Conquest has a number of solutions – including the Conquest CC1200 Sweeper Scrubber, and the heavy-duty XR scrubber – that are up to the job.
“The CC1200 is available in diesel and LPG powered machines,” says Chester. “The XR is battery electric. In the latter case, the XR is also better for the operator in enclosed spaces as it does not contribute any additional emissions to the working environment.”
With a distinct recognition of the need for both efficacy and environmental consciousness, these machines are crafted not merely as solutions but as harbingers of a safer, more sustainable industrial future.
In shaping a future where machinery and methodology align to protect and preserve, Conquest emerges as a potent force, melding technology, strategy, and a deep-rooted commitment to safety and sustainability. As we tread into the concluding segment, we shall explore the forward-looking perspectives and anticipations for future developments in this vital sphere.
With his finger firmly on the pulse of industrial cleaning trends, Chester unwraps not just the imminent necessity of managing industrial dust but also the holistic, future-oriented strategies employed in developing cleaning machinery that serves dual purposes: safeguarding human and environmental health while ensuring operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
“The CC1200 is a single machine that accomplishes both sweeping and scrubbing functions in a single pass, implying one machine to maintain and one operator to run,” he says. “This model translates into a 50 per cent labour saving and reduces operational costs,” he adds, underlining the confluence of economic and functional viability in Conquest’s offerings.
Navigating through the labyrinth of operational, maintenance, and energy costs, the tangible benefits of utilising a singular, combination machine like the CC1200 become evident. It not only inherently trims power costs, particularly against the backdrop of escalating fuel prices, but also in its electric counterparts – as seen in the GMG – affords a notable reduction in maintenance costs.
“Battery electric machines, which contrast with combustion engines, notably present reduced maintenance costs,” Chester says. “Fewer moving parts, minimised requirement for consumables like oils, and overall less complex mechanical systems make electric units more economical and reliable in dust-prone environments.”
Such equipment not only paves the way for a cleaner industrial milieu but is also deftly aligned with burgeoning community expectations and regulatory standards concerning dust emissions control. Chester draws attention to this crucial intersection between environmental consciousness and community standards, noting the growing seriousness with which “councils and local communities” approach dust emissions control.
“The industry is shifting towards integrating water into dust control processes. Conquest – with its innovative technology and unwavering commitment to health, safety, and environmental sustainability – is proud to work with clients and industry to provide solutions that meet community expectations as well as evolving regulatory standards.