Atlantic Blowers Blog

Understanding Industrial Fan Safety Hazards

Posted by Kasey Kessler on Oct 1, 2018 3:51:32 PM
centrifugal air blowerMany businesses rely on the products they obtain from industrial blower manufacturers to keep their operations running smoothly and even to improve the quality of their products. While centrifugal air blowers, axial blowers, and other fans are meant to streamline these processes, it's important to remember that each and every piece of equipment needs to be handled carefully and properly to ensure it poses no risk to others. When they're run, maintained, and repaired as they should be, these industrial fans pose no safety risk; however, that may not be the case when instructions are not followed. To eliminate safety risks, it's essential to understand the potential safety hazards that improper use can cause.

  • Rotating Blades May Cause Injury
    All industrial fans and blowers contain rotating drive components or blades. If caution is not taken in proximity to these blades, injury can occur. Both direct and indirect contact with propelling blades can cause harm to an individual. Guards surrounding the blades should never be removed unless the unit is de-energized. It's important to lock, tag, and test the system to ensure this has been done prior to inspecting or doing any work on a fan. Otherwise, serious physical injury can occur. It's also important to wear proper eye protection and respiratory protection and to take care when walking around these fans. A strong wind can cause propeller rotation even when units are non-operational, which can lead to blowing dust. It could also cause the propeller blades to move through force, which could cause injury or knock an individual on the ground. To prevent this possibility, individuals must maintain a safe distance from the fan's wheel at all times and the propeller must be secured.

  • Hot Surface Areas Can Cause Burns
    Regenerative blower manufacturers will point out that their equipment is considered to be contact-free; they're able to operate for up to 40,000 hours without the need for service. But that's not the case for every blower out there. Some fans do need to be handled more frequently. However, because of the materials used and the mass of this equipment, it's vital to remember just how hot these fans can get. Even after they are de-energized, fan motors can retain their heat for long periods of time. Don't assume that shutting off the blower will offer an immediate cool-down period. They can maintain temperatures in excess of 220 degrees Fahrenheit long after they're shut down. That's why when you are asked to maintain or even stand in close proximity to centrifugal fans, axial blowers, or other equipment like this, you must be mindful and take steps to prevent injuries. Give these elements enough time to cool down before commencing work on them or touching them.

  • Loose Parts Could Be Disastrous
    Centrifugal air blowers, air knife blowers, and other fan systems are meant to stand the test of time. However, no piece of machinery can last forever -- particularly if it is not properly maintained. There have been rare occasions in which internal components of an industrial fan have malfunctioned or dislodged in some way. To prevent this from occurring, these fans must be maintained on a regular basis and inspected thoroughly before operation. If you have a loose blade or other part and the fan is turned on, serious injuries and other problems could occur. Make sure to have all centrifugal air blowers and other fans installed and maintained by trusted professionals.

In general, these industrial fans will pose no threat to the safety of others. But proper installation and maintenance are key. By understanding the potential safety hazards that come with this machinery, you can take steps to prevent these events.