Dust buildup in the warehouse seems inevitable no matter how many times you clean it or what new potent cleaner you buy.
Dusty warehouses are annoying any time of the year, but even more so with the pandemic. Whether most of your staff are away or your warehouse is busier than usual taking care of essential service, you need to make sure that everything is squeaky clean and well sanitized to prevent any kind of COVID-19 outbreak.
This all sounds so incredibly tedious, right? But don’t worry. Today, we are here to give you the 6 dust control measures for your warehouses that we have tried and tested.
But before we jump into that, let’s discuss the main reasons behind this frequent dust buildup in your warehouse.
What Are The Most Common Reasons Behind Dust Buildup In Warehouses?
Expecting a warehouse to be perfectly clean with no speck of dust at all times is simply unrealistic. In fact, the dust buildup is far too common in warehouses. Let’s look at the possible reasons.
- The inflow of the outdoor dust
- Exhaust gases from combustion engines
- Output produced from the general manufacturing processes
- Countless, small pieces of cardboard boxes and wooden pallets
- Tires depositing dust on the floor’s surface
So, in my opinion, these are the most common causes behind dust buildup. Well, a small amount of dust here and there may not pose any threat to anyone. Still, a lack of regular maintenance and cleanup routine can backfire in the most unimaginable ways.
It can lead to mishaps like:
- A hazardous fire
- The long-term and short-term effect on worker’s health
- Contaminated product and packaging
And given the traffic outcome of the pandemic, there’s absolutely no room for error.
Dust Can Make Employees Seriously Ill
In the past, factory workers were exposed to the most inhumane and dangerous working conditions. But we have come a long way. A worker’s safety and wellbeing should be placed above everything else. Even when you seem to do everything right – from handsome wages to ample off days – one camouflaged reason could be messing your worker’s wellbeing quite seriously. And that’s none other than dust.
Dust just doesn’t carry harmful pathogens and viruses but also the potential of making your workers seriously sick. Regular and consistent exposure to dust will inevitably cause complications in the skin, eyes, respiratory system, and more.
On top of that, mess on the floor often also leads to slipping accidents.
You need to keep in mind that sometimes, these harmful effects of dust buildup don’t show up until a few years have passed. For instance, most stonemasons suffer from an incurable and fatal disease called Silicosis caused by inhaling dust caused by crystalline silica found in stones.
Thus, you always need to stay two steps ahead and think about dust’s impact on workers.
Dust Will Shorten Equipment’s Lifespan
There are absolutely no qualms about it. A poorly kept machinery will serve you badly and for a short period. If there’s considerable dust buildup, it will obviously lead to performance issues. Your machinery will work inconsistently and require a lot of maintenance. As a result, your costs will begin to increase.
For example, if the factory floor has lots of dust buildup, you’ll have a more challenging time moving around the equipment. Likewise, filters and other internal parts can very well be clogged and dysfunctional.
Even worse, if the dust starts accumulating on the higher levels of your factory, all of your machinery and products will be at constant risk of contamination and wearing down.
Dust Can Lead To Explosive Fires
This might sound far-fetched to some, but yes, dust can lead to explosive fires. It’s quite probable. After more extended periods of accumulation, dust can become lethal. By any chance, if it comes in contact with an ignition source, it may explode and put everything and everyone’s lives at stake.
So, even if you find it hard to connect the dots right now, trust me when I say cleaning the dust buildup regularly will help you prevent fire hazards in the future.
Now that you know the potential dangers of dust buildup let’s look at the 6 effective dust control measures we promised you without further ado.
Prevent Further Influx Of Dust From Outdoors
Preventing the dust from entering your warehouse is the number one step you should take. If you cannot minimize the inflow of dust coming into the warehouse, no other measures will work.
Luckily, there are several strategies and solutions that you can use to decrease the amount of dust entering your site. That being said, your best bet would be maintaining internal warehouse temperatures with temperature control doors. High-Speed Doors, Warehouse Stripdoors, and Insulated Dock Doors are some proven solutions to address this woe.
Conduct Regular Checking and Cleanup
Don’t think of dust checkup as springtime cleaning. It should be a part of your regular maintenance routine. While water and a dash of detergent will suffice for most parts, you will need to purchase specially formulated solutions for equipment and electronics.
Based on your warehouse’s need, create and follow a strict cleaning regimen. No excuses. For instance, you can consider a weekly mechanical clean and oil at the end of the working week. This way, your equipment will be clean and pristine for the next week of work.
A bonus tip: use microfiber cloths to clean since these can access even the smallest surface and get rid of the gunk.
Design An Effective Ventilation System
A ventilation control system refers to the solution which uses extractor fans to create an airflow inside the facility. Once you turn the fan on, they start pulling small dust particles towards themselves. There is a collection bag at the other end of the duct, which can be safely removed to remove the collected dust.
Also, in general, gauge your warehouse’s ventilation system and ascertain if it’s enough for space and waste it produces. If you think not, there’s always the possibility to consult with professionals and upgrade it.
Reduce Materials’ Movement Within Facility
Lesser the foot traffic in the warehouse, the better. Often overlooked, the friction between tires and floors is the number one reason behind dust creation. The speed will accelerate this process, with fast-moving objects stirring more dust.
Once you analyze which area receives the most traffic and why you can take the necessary steps to prevent that.
For instance, goods that are ordered segregate some areas from others if required. The food processing area can be kept distinct from the dispatch area, which receives high traffic and vehicle fume.
Lessen Exposed Surfaces To Help Control Dust
This one is simple. Reduce the exposed surfaces to help control dust. Keeping everything in place and storing smaller things inside containers will definitely help you fight dust. This will also make cleaning a lot easier as now you will only have to clean the containers’ top instead of every piece of goods stacked on the shelves.
Use Dust Control Curtains
Last but not least. We saved the best pointer for the end. Using dust control curtains is single-handedly the most effective way of saving time, money, and energy. For instance, PVC strop doors and partitioning solutions help separate the different facility compartments and stop dust particles from entering or leaving.
In a nutshell, these curtains work as barriers between people and specialized processes. This way, the dust will remain isolated in the controlled environment. You can quickly clean it later without having to worry about the dust outbreak.
There’s absolutely no doubt that curtains like these help create a secure and healthy work environment that can keep all the potential problems like bad health and fire hazards at bay.