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Removing dust from work clothes

The project Removing dust from work clothes started 1st June 2008 and was terminated 1st June 2009.  Participating companies:

  • Alcan ß ═slandi
  • Alcoa Fjar­aßl
  • Alcoa Norway
  • Hydro Aluminium
  • Kubikenborg Aluminium
  • S°r-Norge Aluminium
  • Vigeland Metal Refinery

The framework directives from the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority from 1978 did prohibit open clean blowing of work clothes.   This is included in the project of cooperation between the aluminium industry and the Labour Inspection Authority to reduce potroom asthma in the aluminium industry. A working group has discussed several alternatives to solve the problem. One has ended on developing a blowsuck-nozzle for vacuum cleaner as the best solution.

To develop a product for cleaning of dusty work clothes. It is to be a handhold nozzle for vacuum cleaner with built-in jet of compressed air.

SINTEF Energiforskning is technical coordinator that involves the following tasks:

  • Follow the development of a prototype at Nederman Norclean AS.
  • Participate in the test of the prototype.
  • Participate in discussions about design and usage of the product.  If necessary SINTEF will include in the project competence on industrial design.

Test of the prototype has been carried out at Hydro Aluminium Sunndal.

A simple and serviceable method was not found that could be a satisfactory alternative to blow the work clothes clean with a simple air pressure nozzle. The conclusion is that blowing work clothes clean with an air pressure nozzle may take place without increasing the health risk for the workers on following the conditions:

  • The air pressure upstream the blowing nozzle should not exceed 2,1 bar.
  • The workers should use dust masks during the clean blowing and eye protection if the dust consists of sharp particles.
  • Clean blowing shall take place outdoors or at places where clean blowing does not contribute to increase the dust concentration considerably according to the background concentrations (in large production halls).

The report (in Norwegian) may be loaded from here.

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