Mining Publication: Reducing Dust Exposure from Contaminated Work Clothing with a Stand-Alone Cleaning System
A few years ago, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and Unimin Corporation developed a clothes cleaning system that is able to quickly, effectively, and safely remove dust from the clothing of a worker without dust exposure to the worker, the work environment, or co-workers during the cleaning process. To perform the process, a worker enters a cleaning booth and activates an air spray manifold which blows the dust from the clothing. Since the cleaning booth is under negative pressure, all the dust and product removed are contained. In the original design, this dust-laden air was exhausted to a dust collector system. However, since most operations do not have excess dust collector capacity, it was decided to determine an alternative method to provide for a stand-alone cleaning system. This was achieved by ducting the exhaust outside the plant and into the atmosphere. This technique was recently tested and shown to be a viable method to provide for a stand-alone clothes cleaning system.