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SHAPA


Time to come clean Handling and processing powders in a safe atmosphere


Workforce safety is clearly paramount and all manufacturers and processors have a legal duty to ensure a definably safe workplace atmosphere. It makes good business sense too as product contamination may be minimised or completely eliminated by paying attention to unwanted sources of dust or vapour emissions. Whilst a number of SHAPA member companies are noted specialists in dust and fume control, all member companies who manufacture or supply storage, handling or processing equipment have a vested interest in emissions minimisation. Elimination by design may be possible, for instance by maintaining differential pressures within equipment to prevent egress of dust and fume; external suppression systems may be used, from simple wetting as appropriate to the application of atomised fogging systems to entrap particulates. There are many well known so called “end of pipe” solutions, drawing the dust and fume to a filter/collector via suitable ducting systems. However, whatever system is to be employed, it must be simple and, ideally, intuitive to maintain, with a clear indication of its state of health. In the past it was quite common to see high powered dust collection systems rendered silently ineffective by lack of maintenance or inappropriate use (misuse) – whilst


nevertheless costing the owner dearly in energy consumption. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have been very active in recent years to produce clear guidelines to enable plant operators to comply with workplace air quality regulations (CoSHH, DSEAR et al) and with this in mind, SHAPA has lent its support to the recently inaugurated Institute of Local Exhaust Engineers (IlevE). This fits perfectly with SHAPA’s aims to improve the perception of our industries and promote sound professional principles in the future.


www.solidsandbulk.co.uk May 2012 • Solids & Bulk Handling 43


Whilst regular checks on equipment that may cause emissions are mandatory, there has until recently been no professional engineering or regulatory body to ensure consistency of approach. To put it crudely, anybody could set up as an inspector of emissions control equipment. SHAPA has worked closely with HSE, IMechE and other professional institutions and now sees the emerging IlevE as supporting a very necessary facet of our members’ and their customers’ endeavours. The accompanying graphic illustration has been provided by IlevE; the operator has an air fed mask, but the process lacks dust control. This is just one aspect of the continuing work and effort by SHAPA and its member companies to improve production efficiency and quality as well as enhancing the lot of those who work within this wide range of industries, so that careers within our industries become as attractive as they are necessary to the wellbeing of British industry – and indeed, via export of ideas and equipment. To industry worldwide. Please check out what SHAPA and its membership can do for you, whether a supplier or potential user, by visiting www.shapa.co.uk


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