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Health Risks in Paper Mills and How To Eliminate Them

With $422 billion in revenue in 2019, the paper and pulp industry is one of the largest in the world.

It is also a potentially dangerous industry with a multitude of health risks that paper mill workers face on a daily basis. Workers are prone to injury due to burns, poisoning and lacerations. In 2015 alone, there were 10,000 injuries recorded in the paper and pulp industry by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Paper dust itself is highly combustible, leading to the risk of dust explosions at manufacturing facilities.

In this article, we will identify the different types of hazards faced by paper and pulp workers and how they can be managed.

5 Common Health Risks in Paper Mills

Pulp and paper mill workers are typically at increased risk of various health problems due to prolonged exposure to increased noise levels, toxic chemicals and more.

Here are some of the most common risks and hazards.

1. Noise Hazards

In the paper and pulp industry, noise can reach very high levels on the manufacturing floor. It is imperative that factories take appropriate steps to protect their employees’ hearing.

This includes investing in low-noise machinery and providing effective noise-canceling ear protection equipment. These should be made compulsory for workers, while noise levels should be regulated and checked.

2. Chemical Substances Hazard

There are many chemical substances commonly used in paper mills that can be dangerous to workers’ health. Some of these include chlorine, chlorine dioxide, sulfur compounds and sulfuric acid.

The following steps are crucial for ensuring worker safety:

  • Proper storage for chemical substances using drums, spill containment pallets and spill berms.
  • Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be provided.
  • The proper and regular maintenance of protective equipment should be ensured.

All of these standards should be maintained per OSHA regulations. Proper training in the fitting, use and care of all protective equipment is a core requirement for any complete worker safety protocol. All personal safety equipment should be regularly inspected and replaced in case of excessive wear and tear.

3. Mechanical Equipment Hazards

Another real threat that workers face in paper mills is crushing or amputation by unsafe or faulty machinery. Regular inspection of mechanical guards and other safety equipment is absolutely essential, and work must be stopped while and issues are resolved and necessary repairs are completed. 

4. Human Errors

Long shifts and repetitive work can lead to an increased chance of human error. As such, it is important to schedule shifts accordingly and train employees on how to recognize and manage fatigue.

OSHA-compliant programs teach better safety to workers and contribute to a safer culture throughout the company. Looking out for co-workers is encouraged to help prevent accidents from happening. As part of these types of programs, workers are educated on how to wear protective gear and encouraged to remind others to do the same.

5. Combustible Dust

One devastating risk that has resulted in great casualties and destruction of property in the industry is the risk of combustible dust.

Paper processing equipment releases dust residue, which, when accumulated, can cause serious hazards including fires and explosions. For instance, an explosion in 2017 at the Didion Milling facility in Cambria, Wisconsin claimed five lives and injured fourteen workers on night duty.

A combination of these five elements can lead to dust explosions — and all five are commonly found together in paper mills:

  • Oxygen
  • Fuel (Dust)
  • Ignite source
  • Confinement
  • Dispersion

Dust explosions can be easily prevented by the proper exclusion of combustible dust from potentially hazardous areas. This process requires identification of two factors — the areas where dust usually accumulates and whether it is combustible — while the last step is to get rid of it efficiently.

In order to prevent dust accumulation and mitigate the risks that come with it, vacuums are considered the most effective equipment in removing combustible material safely – but not all vacuums are well-suited for this task.

Vacuum Cleaners for the Paper and Pulp Industry

Processing equipment in paper mills produces a lot of combustible dust, and while regular cleaning can reduce the risk, it is important to use an intrinsically safe, explosion-proof vacuum cleaner for proper disposal.

HafcoVac’s Explosion-Proof Vacuums

HafcoVac’s explosion-proof vacuums are certified which means that they are specially designed for use in hazardous locations. They are efficient in the eradication of dust particles with their multiple overhead extensions and ensure disposal in adherence to OSHA’s housekeeping guidelines.

These intrinsically safe vacuums have no moving mechanical parts, resulting in zero buildup of static charge due to friction between different components. These heavy-duty, non-electric vacuums are not only affordable, but they are also an excellent option for paper and pulp mills given their excellent performance on wet and dry surfaces.

Here are some added benefits of these vacuums:

  • ATEX Certification: HafcoVac’s vacuums are certified for use in areas with combustible dust hazards.
  • HEPA Air Filtration and Liquid Shutoff: These have a HEPA-certified filter system and a filter bag that is extremely efficient at preventing dust from dispersing in the air.
  • Increased Fire Safety: Since the vacuums are compliant with OSHA housekeeping codes and National Fire Protection Agency regulations, they represent enhanced fire safety.
  • Different Drum Options: The range also comes in 30- or 55-gallon drums so they are perfect for gathering combustible dust from small or confined spaces.
  • Venturi Driven Suction: With 5x the suction compared to electric vacuums, this feature allows the explosion-proof vacuum to pick up dust and debris easily through the hose.

All-in-all, our explosion-proof, intrinsically safe vacuums are extremely popular in various industries, including paper and pulp mills, since they can effectively clean combustible dust such as paint powder, paper dust, cardboard and more. 

Get in touch with the experts at HafcoVac today for more information on how explosion-proof vacuums can help make your workplace safer. They can even arrange same-day delivery to help you ensure your mill safe as quickly as possible. 

Selecting the Best Vacuums for Powder Coating

Powder coating is the preferred finishing technique for consumer and industrial goods, thanks to its durability, economy and quality.

However, the powder itself may present serious health and safety risks when stored, conveyed and applied to products. Under the right conditions, one such risk is the high possibility of combustible dust explosions. An additional risk associated with improper handling of powder dust includes inhalation of particles by workers. It is crucial to ensure that proper housekeeping procedures are put in place and followed on a regular basis to mitigate these risks.

Due to recent NFPA and OSHA guidelines requiring facilities to perform a comprehensive dust hazard analysis and develop a plan to deal with these risks, manufacturers and factory owners now need specialized tools to meet regulations and minimize these hazards.

HafcoVac’s certified, explosion-proof industrial vacuums present an intrinsically safe solution for powder coating clean up. They offer excellent suction regardless of the dust’s location — whether the paint particles are on overhead beams, machinery, walls or floors.

In this article, we will learn more about powder coating, the potential risks that come with it and how we can help prevent them with Certified HafcoVac vacuums.

What Is Powder Coating?

Powder coating is one of the most in-demand paint application techniques for manufacturers of industrial and consumer appliances. In fact, the appliance industry acquires the largest share of the powder coating market, amounting to two-fifths of all industrial powder coated parts.

The powder coating process involves spraying paint in the form of powder on top of binders and pigments that are sprayed directly onto the surface. In contrast, liquid paint has binders and pigments present in solvent. The inclusion of binders and pigments in liquid paint results in longer drying times, which can also vary depending on atmospheric conditions. 

Once the powder coating spraying is completed, the item must be baked to a certain temperature for a set amount of time. Called curing, the duration of this process is different for different types of powder. Next, the powder is heated to a high temperature in order for the powder to melt. Once melted, the object is cooled for a hard and durable finish. 

Several types of materials including plastics, metals, medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and glass can be powder coated. Similarly, many types of textures and finishes that are not possible with liquid coating methods can be achieved with powder paint.

Here are some advantages of powder coating:

  • More durable compared to liquid coating
  • Better and thicker finish
  • Low environmental impact
  • Less waste
  • Efficient curing and drying process

Risks Associated With Powder Coating

As mentioned, the biggest risks related to powder coating are fire and dust explosions, followed by dust particle inhalation. 

A dust explosion occurs when there is powder accumulation in different parts of a factory or site. If introduced to a source of ignition, it can result in its rapid combustion.

One possible source of ignition is static electricity. This can build up when a vacuum has no grounding to dissipate the static charge generated by the unidirectional flow of the powder debris through the cleaning hose. 

If this ungrounded hose comes in contact with a grounded object, the consequence can be a deadly explosion. That’s why OSHA and the NFPA 654 standard recommend your vacuum: “control static electricity, including bonding of equipment to ground.” 

The rapid combustion of powder coating dust is known to have caused several fires that have resulted in serious damage to the factory and led to pricey shutdowns. As a matter of fact, in 2016 alone, a total of 22 workers were injured and three casualties were recorded due to fire and dust explosions in the U.S. and Canada, combined.

Considering the extent of damage that combustible dust can cause, it is important to use vacuums specially designed to eliminate the risk.

Why Vacuums Are Necessary

With powder coating, the inclusion of an explosion-proof vacuum that can safeguard both workers and the workplace by reducing the possibility of a dust explosion is an essential part of any housekeeping procedure.

As such, it’s important to select a vacuum that is durable and reliable and can efficiently draw up powder from different surfaces. One key element of a vacuum is its filtration system; a good model can clean up powder efficiently without exhausting fine dust into the air. Look for one that has a HEPA filter. 

HEPA filters are 99.8% effective at keeping fine dust particles from entering the air. That results in cleaner air and a cleaner workplace, reducing the explosion risk. HEPA filters are the ideal choice for vacuuming fine dust. 

Many people opt for standard vacuums or Shop-Vacs to pick up powder without realizing that they have limited filtration capacity and motor quality. As such, they do more harm than good and need to be replaced multiple times a year. Some even produce a static charge that could result in the combustion of the dust. Instead, look for one that is fully grounded and bonded to ensure static charges can’t become an ignition source. 

Benefits of Selecting the Right Vacuum

Here are some benefits of selecting a certified, intrinsically safe vacuum:

  • Filtration system with HEPA filters that is 99.8% effective at keeping fine dust particles from entering the air.
  • Properly grounded and bonded to eliminate the possibility of static shock.
  • Virtually eliminates the chance of explosion by trapping combustible dust.

HafcoVac’s Compressed Air Powered Vacuums

Our vacuums perform proficiently in environments where compressed air is available and use of electric equipment is less desirable due to the combustible dust hazard.

HafcoVac vacuums are multipurpose and can meet the cleaning needs of multiple types of industries. They are certified explosion-proof and intrinsically safe in order to clean and extract combustible dust, and other dry and wet materials, from industrial facilities without letting particles escape into the air.

When fitted with our optional S’Hush exhaust silencer, HafcoVac vacuums are silent enough to be used without ear protection, as required by OSHA noise regulations. And with our optional Jack tool holder, hoses are kept neat and off the ground, removing a potential tripping hazard and helping comply with OSHA walking-working surface regulations.

They can be used at the ground level, or they can be used from above in order to clean spraying booths easier.

Plus, our high-quality HEPA filters are long-lasting, large capacity, replaceable filters that come with a washable filter bag to further prolong the filter life, so you don’t have to replace them as often while still keeping your facility safe. Instead of using 4–5 Shop-Vacs a year, use just one HEPA filter. 

HafcoVac Certified Vacuumsc

This vacuum uses compressed air that is already available in your powder coating facility and does not require any external power source. Our vacuums provide five times more suction than a typical Shop-Vac, delivering up to 250 inches of water lift, no matter if you are cleaning from above or on the ground level. 

Our vacuums are electrically bonded and grounded, ensuring full static dissipation, and have no moving parts to wear out over time, backed by our lifetime warranty. 

Anti-Static - Explosion-Proof

Overall, HafcoVac’s compressed air powered vacuums are made for maximum efficiency, using a minimum amount of air to produce the maximum amount of suction power. They are designed to be durable and come with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. You can click here to configure our vacuum to your specifications and have it shipped to your door the same day. There’s no need to go through a middle man to get the vacuum your facility needs to be OSHA Housekeeping compliant.

  • These heavy-duty vacuums are portable and can be used in various industrial spaces. They come with two drum sizes: the 30-gallon model is better for smaller jobs while the larger 55-gallon is for bigger cleanups.
  • Our vacuums are NRTL tested and ATEX certified and comply with OSHA and NFPA guidelines.

Want to learn more about our air-powered vacuums? Let’s talk! Click here to contact us or give us a call at 1–877–820–0050.

Combustible Dust: Understanding How To Prevent Industrial Fire Hazards

Many manufacturing and mining industries create large amounts of Combustible Dust that have the potential of becoming highly explosive and causing fatalities and millions of dollars in damage.

More than 450 accidents involving combustible dust have killed nearly 130 workers and injured another 800-plus since 1980, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of data compiled by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board. These fires and explosions have been caused by a variety of dust sources including sugar, nylon fiber, coal, iron, plastic and wood. Most in the manufacturing industry are aware of some of the dangers and have read or seen reports of these explosions in the news.

An explosion ripped through the New Cumberland A.L. Solutions titanium plant in West Virginia on December 9, 2010, fatally injuring three workers. The plant workers were processing titanium powder at the time of the explosion. The AL Solutions incident is one of nine serious combustible dust incidents investigated by the CSB since 2003, including the Imperial Sugar disaster near Savannah, Georgia, in 2008 as well as three combustible dust incidents over a six month period in 2011 at the Hoeganaes facility located in Gallatin, TN. These nine explosions and fires caused a total of 36 deaths and 128 injuries.

Dust and other debris will always be present in the manufacturing process. Since dust is inevitable in the process, manufacturing facilities must take the proper measures to understand the risks, learn as much as possible about the threat and take solid measures to prevent potential hazards and be prepared should an incident take place.

What is Combustible Dust?

The technical definitions for combustible dust will differ depending on the source that you reference. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States defines combustible dust as “a solid material composed of distinct particles or pieces, regardless of size, shape, or chemical composition, which presents a fire or deflagration hazard when suspended in air or some other oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations”. In Canada, one example is Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Code which defines combustible dust as “a dust that can create an explosive atmosphere when it is suspended in the air in ignitable concentrations”.

What are examples of materials that can be a combustible dust hazard?

Believe it or not the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists over 120 materials as combustible dust makers. See the chart below for a full list:

What Industries Are at Risk for Combustible Dust?

OSHA notes some of the industries at risk include:

  • Agriculture
  • Food
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Pesticide
  • Rubber
  • Plastic
  • Woodworking
  • Textiles
  • Chemical
  • Recycling
  • Coal fired Power Plants

Causes of a Combustible Dust Explosion

There are three elements needed for a dust fire to
occur and is referred to as the “Fire Triangle”. They are:

  • Combustible dust (i.e. the fuel)
  • Oxygen
  • Heat source


There are also two additional elements needed to cause a combustible dust explosion, often called the “Dust Explosion Pentagon”

  • Dispersion of dust particle in sufficient quantity
  • Confinement of the dust cloud


Secondary Explosions

After the initial combustible dust explosion, there is often a secondary explosion caused. The second explosion is caused by dust that is shaken loose from the primary explosion which also ignites. The secondary explosion may be actually larger and more severe than the initial explosion.

Conditions Needed for a Dust Explosion to Occur

The simple recipe for a dust explosion to happen is for combustible dust particles to be suspended in air and include an ignition source. In reality, several other conditions generally need to be present

  • The combustible dust must release enough heat to sustain the fire.
  • The dust must be suspended in air.
  • The dust must have a particle size large enough to spread the flame.
  • The concentration of the dust suspension must be within the explosive range.
  • An ignition source must be in contact with the suspended dust.
  • Adequate oxygen must be present to support and sustain combustion

Dust Hazard Assessment for Your Facility

Plants should carefully look at the following areas to determine the potential for dust explosions:

  • Materials
  • Processes
  • Open Areas of dust
  • Hidden Areas of dust
  • Dust dispersion sources
  • Ignition sources

Preventative Measures

  • Develop a housekeeping plan
  • Use only approved vacuum cleaners for dust collection
  • Find and eliminate hidden areas where dust accumulates
  • If possible, avoid or minimize horizontal surface where dust may accumulate
  • Use cleaning methods that do not generate dust clouds
  • Use proper electrical and ventilation systems


  • Develop and implement a combustible dust inspection and control program including when inspections will take place and specific actions to control dust.
  • Develop a hot work permit system for activities such as welding and cutting.
  • Develop an ignition control program to eliminate or reduce sources of ignition. Keep ignition sources away from dusty areas or use suitable controls.
  • Educate and train employees regarding the hazards of combustible dusts and their role in eliminating the threat of explosions
  • Inspect for dust at regular intervals.
  • Regularly inspect machines, ducts, and ventilation systems for dust.

How to Select an Anti Static Explosion Proof Vacuum Cleaner

HafcoVac explosion proof vacuum cleaners are safe for use as part of a combustible dust control program and are suitable for many flammable and combustible materials. With no motors to arc and no moving parts to create friction or spark, our non-electric explosion proof vacuums are a safe, reliable and cost-effective solution for your business.

HafcoVac explosion proof vacuum cleaners bond all components of the vacuum together, ensuring no part is left isolated from its path to ground. When used in conjunction How to Select an Anti Static Explosion Proof Vacuum Cleaner with our MSHA approved static conductive hose, a HafcoVac explosion proof vacuum is an economical alternative to other products which often sell for many times the cost.

With performance uncompromised by explosion-proof vacuum safeguards, an upgrade to an explosion-proof vacuum cleaner will perform with the same power HafcoVac is known for. Best of all, you don’t have to sacrifice your budget to protect your business and employees.

If you are unsure if dust ignition proof vacuum equipment is necessary for your application or facility, a HafcoVac representative will gladly provide a thorough application analysis to ensure appropriate product selection.

Intrinsic Safety

HafcoVac explosion-proof industrial vacuums are suitable for use in Class I, Class II, and Class III environments, Division 1 and 2. Our explosion-proof pneumatic vacuums:

  • contains no moving parts, eliminating the possibility of ignition from mechanical friction or contact.
  • uses no electricity, eliminating sparks from motor arcing, shorts, switches, etc.
  • are fully grounded when an explosion-proof vacuum unit configuration is ordered, ensuring dangerous static electricity will not accumulate.

Intrinsic Safety is a protection technique for equipment operating in explosive environments. The principle states that electrical and thermal energy must not build up sufficiently to discharge. With heat or friction risks such as those present when using an electrically operated industrial vacuum safely eliminated, static electricity remains.

The complete grounding of all components, including air supply line, vacuum generating head, collection drum, dolly and vacuum hose ensure that static electricity is continuously dissipated, protecting against dangerous static buildup, which could lead to electrostatic discharge (ESD), posing potentially serious consequences when in the presence of combustible substances. HafcoVac explosion-proof vacuum models factory equipped as an explosion-proof configuration ensures static electricity will not accumulate.

It is critically important that the operator understands the functions of the grounding system. Inspections are suggested prior to each use to ensure the integrity of all grounding wires and points. Care must be taken to not circumvent any grounding safeguards, and should also be exercised to ensure parts such as hoses aren’t used interchangeably with those from non-explosion proof systems.

Are HafcoVac’s Vacuums Certified Explosion Proof?

Stainless Vac

To this date, there are no published certification procedures for air-powered (pneumatic) equipment.

HafcoVac anti-static grounded units (“x” model designation) machines meet the criteria for intrinsically safe operation – no moving parts, non-electric & fully grounded means the unit will not spark and will not generate dangerous amounts of heat.

Additionally, we have designed these machines specifically for use in hazardous locations – building in a double safeguard of conductive static dissipative materials & connections, coupled with complete grounding of all components of the unit.

An independent testing lab has stated that our “X” line can be used in hazardous locations, specifically in Class I, Class II, & Class III environments, divisions 1&2.

HafcoVac explosion proof vacuum cleaners are suitable for a wide range of applications. Safeguard your business from worker injury, OSHA fines or catastrophic incident by protecting your facility with HafcoVac’s safe non-electric anti-static vacuum cleaners.

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OSHA and NFPA Standards HafcoVac Vacuums Help You Comply With

OSHA Standards
NFPA Standards
1910.22: General Requirements: Housekeeping NFPA 61: Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities NFPA 485: Standard for the Storage, Handling, Processing, and Use of Lithium Metal
1910.38: Emergency Action Plans NFPA 68: Guide for Venting of Deflagrations NFPA 495: Explosive Materials Code
1910.94: Ventilation NFPA 69: Standard on Explosion Prevention Systems NFPA 499: Recommended Practice for the Classification of Combustible Dusts and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas
1910.107: Spray Finishing Using Flammable and Combustible Materials NFPA 70: National Electrical Code® NFPA 505: Fire Safety Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks Including Type Designations, Areas of Use, Conversions, Maintenance, and Operation
1910.146: Permit-Required Confined Spaces (references combustible dust) NFPA 91: Standard for Exhaust Systems for Air Conveying of Vapors, Gases, Mists, and Noncombustible Particulate Solids NFPA 560: Standard for the Storage, Handling, and Use of Ethylene Oxide for Sterilization and Fumigat
1910.178: Powered Industrial Trucks NFPA 120: Standard for Fire Prevention and Control in Metal/Nonmetal Mining and Metal Mineral Processing Facilities NFPA 654: Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids
1910.269: Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution (coal handling) NFPA 432: Code for the Storage of Organic Peroxide Formulations NFPA 655: Standard for Prevention of Sulfur Fires and Explosions
1910.272: Grain Handling Facilities NFPA 480: Standard for the Storage, Handling, and Processing of Magnesium Solids and Powders NFPA 664: Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities
1910.307: Hazardous (classified) Locations (for electric equipment) NFPA 481: Standard for the Production, Processing, Handling, and Storage of Titanium NFPA 1124: Code for the Manufacture, Transportation, Storage, and Retail Sales of Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles
1910.1200: Hazard Communication NFPA 482: Standard for the Production, Processing, Handling, and Storage of Zirconium NFPA 1125: Code for the Manufacture of Model Rocket and High Power Rocket Motors
NFPA 484: Standard for Combustible Metals, Metal Powders, and Metal Dusts

HafcoVac is providing information on pertinent OSHA and NFPA standards as a convenience to our customers. Our reference to OSHA, NFPA, MSHA or other governing bodies is not intended to be construed as an endorsement of this, or any specific product, by the respective agency.


HafcoVac Announces New ATEX-Certified All-Purpose Pneumatic Vacuums

Midland Park, NJ- HafcoVac, leading manufacturer of OSHA compliant pneumatic vacuums, is excited to announce its new ATEX EX Series. The new line of ATEX-Certified vacuums eliminates the risks of static electricity and ensures safety in both regular and hazardous locations. Providing safe, explosion-proof, pneumatic technology at a fraction of the cost, HafcoVac’s ATEX-Certified systems come with a lifetime warranty and are available for same-day shipping. 

To help your business stay compliant, these vacuums are equipped with Certified HEPA filter technology and meet the standards set by OSHA and the NFPA. All HafcoVacs are compatible with a S’HUSH Silencer that reduces the noise level to an OSHA-compliant 77 dB. 

HafcoVac ATEX-Certified Pneumatic Vacuums run entirely off compressed air and are available in 30 and 55-gallon drum units. They come complete with grounding options, 1.5” or 2” vac hose, custom air supply hose and fittings and all metal pick-up tools.  

Both liquid and dry substances can be cleaned with the use of Hafcovac’s explosion-proof technology. The HafcoVac ATEX EX Series is ideal for powder, wood, grain, gasoline and other combustible materials.  

“We noticed a very strong need for a Certified vacuum that would allow businesses to stay compliant in regard to housekeeping. Because we are a family business that has a focused on saftey for decades, this was a very simple solution and our ability to pass the savings on to our customers has been great,” said Basil Fornaci, Co-President and Head of Sales at Hafco.  

The HafcoVac ATEX-Certified systems are certified for regular and hazardous environments and use in Class 1, Group A, B, C & D and Class 2, Groups E, F, G. They are ATEX-Approved (EX) for zones 1, 2, 21 and 22. 

For personal, same day service, please call 877.820.0050 or visit

Visit us at World of Concrete Las Vegas 2016

We are excited to announce that HafcoVac will be exhibiting in Las Vegas at the World of Concrete expo February 2-5, 2016 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

We will have live product demonstrations of our Industrial Vacuums, including our unique dust separation configuration, saving concrete customers time, money and aggravation over constant replacement of standard filtration elements.  Our solution eliminates the need for filter shaking contraptions and operates reliability with NO MOVING PARS.

Dust Cyclone Separator

Additionally, we will be displaying our exciting new Gunnite Nozzle.

Our Patented Nozzle Features:
  • The piping is Rifled and has a One Direction Water ring, allowing COMPLETE Product Mix
  • The Spiral creates a more focused Spray Pattern-this reduces waste, gives you more control and allows the operator to work further from the application

Our nozzle also prevents water flow back even in overhead applications. This is an important safety feature to eliminate the danger of clearing plugged lines.

gunnite nozzle

We look forward to seeing you in Vegas!

AWFS Las Vegas Woodworking Show

HafcoVac recently visited the AWFS Woodworking Fair 2015 from July 22-25 as an exhibitor.

While at the show to promote our exciting  line of Woodworking Vacuums, we decided to have a little fun by demonstrating a promotional quad-copter, which we give to the first 5 customers who purchase a HafcoVac at a trade show.  Not only did we give all 5 away, but we also generated some exciting footage of the venue!

Our friends at Woodworking Network Picked up the story.

HafcoVac Exhibiting at the International Woodworking Fair, IWF Atlanta, on August 20-32, 2014

HafcoVac, a manufacturer of compressed air industrial vacuums, will be exhibiting at the International Woodworking Fair, IWF Atlanta, on August 20-32, 2014. HafcoVac will be introducing and demonstrating a brand new model for shops with compressors as small as 5 HP. The new model will join an existing line of anti-static, explosion proof vacuums heavily relied upon in the woodworking industry.

HafcoVac vacuums run on compressed air so there are no moving parts and the entire unit is grounded and 100 percent static free. The units are safe for OSHA Class I, II and III environments, have five times the power of electric vacuums, include HEPA filtration and feature a lifetime warranty. All vacuums are manufactured in the United States. HafcoVac will be demonstrating the unit at the show at Booth #4643.

“HafcoVac has found some of our most loyal customers to be in the woodworking industry, and our customers have found our product to be a great fit in a wide range of processes and facilities. We are excited to attend the premiere expo for the industry to meet old and new friends. We have listened carefully to the needs of our woodworking customers, and are happy to introduce an exciting new industrial vacuum model at this show. It will require as little as a 5 HP compressor, which is common in the industry.” said Basil Fornaci, HafcoVac Director of Sales.

The IWF is International Woodworking Fair is one of the world’s largest trade shows for the furniture manufacturing, architectural woodwork, custom and general woodworking industries. The trade show is held every other year at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga., and is ranked among the largest trade shows in the world. Recognized around the world as the pre-eminent event for introducing and selling manufacturing equipment, supplies and innovative new technology, IWF attracts visitors from every level of the industry and over sixty foreign countries and all 50 states.

About HafcoVac

HafcoVac is a product line of Hafco Foundry. Hafco Foundry is located in Midland Park, New Jersey. Founded in 1969, Hafco Foundry manufactures and distributes a variety of vacuum cleaner units and accessories that are perfectly adapted to the heavy duty requirements of industrial and machining cleanup. Industrial Vacuums systems manufactured include industrial compressed air vacuums, explosion proof vacuums, industrial HEPA vacuums and mining rock dust blowers.
For more information visit

The Dangers of Combustible Dust

A Deeper Look at Combustible Dust

In July 2009 the the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, the CSB, made a new safety video, “Combustible Dust: An Insidious Hazard” and testified in Congress about the dangers of combustible dusts. They had released their Combustible Dust Hazard Study” in 2006 which calls for regulation and enforcement by OSHA. “No company wants to see its facility blown up and destroyed and its employees killed,” former CSB Chairman John Bresland says in this powerful video.  The CSB study concluded that good engineering and safety practices to prevent dust explosions have existed for decades, but there was no comprehensive federal standard requiring adherence to these well-known safety practices.

Often cited are the National Fire Prevention Association’s (NFPA) Combustible Dust Hazard Codes and Standards in the video.

A Plea for OSHA Combustible Dust Standards

Amy Beasley Spencer, of the NFPA, believes if there was a national OSHA requirement dealing with dust explosions that the incidents would be significantly decreased. NFPA standards emphasize safe cleaning methods, such as utilizing explosion proof vacuums in concert with proper training.
One of the case studies is the dust explosion and fire that damaged the CTA Acoustics plant on February 20, 2003 in Corbin, Kentucky. The Kentucky Department of Labor published and distributed the educational alert bulletin Combustible Dust Explosion Hazards.

Complacency Vs. Health and Safety Practices

Why these explosions continue to happen is a mystery to many experts when the information is out there about the dangers of combustible dust. Expert James Dahn appears in the CSB video to warn industry and workers against complacency: “I mean we’ve been operating for 40 years and never had a problem,” Mr. Dahn states. “That kind of logic is one that can guarantee you will get into trouble.”

Combustible Dust: By the Numbers

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis is featured announcing in 2009 that OSHA would begin the rule making on combustible dust.  Worker Protection against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act of 2011 (H.R. 522 Feb 8, 2011) is in Congress now. OSHA reported in a trade news release dated April 28, 2011 that since 1980 nearly 150 workers have been killed and more than 850 injured in combustible dust explosions. They held a Combustible Dust Expert Forum on May 13, 2011. Attendee Jeffrey Nichols posted his notes on the conference here..

According to the NFPA, a catastrophic explosion can occur from “as little as 1/32 of an inch of accumulated dust, around the thickness of a dime, covering just 5% of a room’s area.” One of their recommendations is to perform rigorous housekeeping to remove any explosive dust that does build up.

Further Pleading for Combustible Dust Standards

According to the CSB chairman John Bresland, the problem is that although the NFPA standards have often been adopted at the State and the local levels, they are not enforced in any regular way. He goes on to say that there needs to be better communication to and education of workers on the dangers of combustible dust and that should be done with improved information  on material safety data sheets (MSDS).

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. For more information on combustible dust please visit

Combustible Dust Decimates Chinese Tech Factory

Fires burn after combustible dust explosion in Chengdu, China

Aftermath of the Chengdu dust explosion. Photo:

Explosive Dust Kills Three in China

An explosion at a factory in the Chinese city of Chengdu has killed three workers and injured almost 20 others. This catastrophic explosion on May 20th, 2011 has been attributed to combustible dust accumulations, according to initial examinations by local authorities. The dust explosion led to the partial shutdown of the plant. Officials in Chengdu said the explosion had been caused by combustible dust in an air duct at a polishing workshop. Foxconn, a division of the Hon Hai Group of Taiwan, is the operator of the facility and occupies a golden position as one of Apple’s largest suppliers. The Chengdu facility appears to be a new factory and Foxconn boasts of hiring almost 100,000 new employees.

Warning Signs of a Dust Hazards

The Hong Kong-based labor watch-dog group called ‘Students and Scholars against Corporate Misbehavior’ had noted a problem with potentially combustible dust accumulations throughout the factory in a report on working conditions issued only 2 months ago. The group said workers at the Chengdu factory had complained this year that the ventilation of the polishing department to be wholly inadequate. Workers in this section of the factory are charged with polishing iPad cases and the polishing process produces copious amounts of explosive dust on a particulate scale near microscopic. Workers are forced to inhale this explosive dust even though they are wearing respirators. The particulate is so fine that when workers take off their cotton gloves, their hands are completely coated with this combustible dust. After the release of these findings, Foxconn issued a response; stating that it was unfortunate that S. A.C.O.M. was seeking to capitalize on insignificant findings.

Workers from the Foxconn plant show just how much explosive dust accumulates on their person during an average shift
Video by S.A.C.O.M., courtesy of


Corporate Damage Control

Apple issued a statement after the explosion, saying that they regretted the tragic accident and that the cause of the blast was under investigation. Foxconn has recently been expanding its operational reach all across China to keep up with production demands. Apple has a deep relationship with Foxconn; which has had to cope with several recent worker suicides. Labor rights groups believe the suicides were the result of harsh working conditions. Foxconn, however, insists employees are respected and are treated well. After the suicides, Foxconn took steps to mitigate internal stresses; hiring counselors and even installing nets on some buildings to prevent suicide attempts. Apple has praised Foxconn, saying the company has definitely saved lives.  Apple; which has an established and well documented code of conduct for international suppliers, audits plants annually, but has had to deal with continuing problems that propagate in China’s industrial sector.

Unforeseen Consequences of Combustible Dust Explosions

The subsequent shutdown has stirred fears of production/ supply interruptions for the latest iPad. IHS iSuppli, said that the explosion at the Chengdu facility “could result in the loss of production of 500,000 Apple iPad 2 tablet computers during the second quarter of this year.” IHS iSuppli said that while most of the iPad production was actually being completed in the city of Shenzhen, the concern is that the Shenzhen factory might not be able to compensate for the disruption in Chengdu.

The Necessity for Combustible Dust Mitigation Practices

The Chengdu incident brings to light the need for adequate combustible dust training procedures and effective housekeeping measures; such as employing dust cleaners, in order to eliminate the possibility of catastrophic combustible dust explosions in every sector of the manufacturing industry. HafcoVac Explosion Proof vacuums are compressed air powered and completely anti-static. No electricity means no possibility of ignition by proxy and can provide peace of mind for manufacturers and factory operators who truly care for the health, safety and well-being of their employees.