Safety

In the use of any metal cleaning process, there are possible safety, health, and fire hazards which need to be considered. The degree of hazard is dependent upon such factors as the specific materials and chemicals involved, the duration of employee exposure, and the specific operating procedures.

Information is presented in Table 12 on the types of hazards which may be associated with each cleaning process and the general control measures which would be used for each hazard.

Table 12 Safety and health hazards of cleaning processes

Cleaning process

Hazard/air contaminant

Control measures

OSHA/NFPA references

Abrasive blasting

Silica dust/total dust exposures

Local exhaust ventilation

(29 CFR)

Respiratory protection

1910.94(a)

Goggles or face shield

1910.95

Cleaning process

Hazard/air contaminant

Control measures

OSHA/NFPA references

Noise exposures

Noise exposures

1910.133

Hearing protective devices

1910.134

Skin abrasion

Leather protection garments

1910.1000

Table Z-3

Acid cleaning

Acid gas or mist exposure

Local exhaust ventilation

1910.94(L)

Respiratory protection

1910.133

Goggles or face shield

1910.134

Skin contact

Impervious gloves and garments

1910.1000

Table Z-1

Alkaline cleaning

Alkaline mist exposure

Local exhaust ventilation

1910.94(d)

Respiratory protection

1910.133

Goggles or face shield

1910.134

Skin contact

Impervious gloves and garments

1910.1000

Table Z-1

Emulsion cleaning

Petroleum or chlorinated hydrocarbons

Local exhaust ventilation

1910.94(d)

Respiratory protection

1910.132

Alkaline mist exposures

Local exhaust ventilation

1910.133

1910.134

1910.1000

Cleaning process

Hazard/air contaminant

Control measures

OSHA/NFPA references

Tables Z-1, Z-2

Emulsion cleaning

Alkaline mist exposures

Respiratory protection

Goggles or face shield

Skin contact

Impervious gloves and garments,

Pickling

Acid gas or mist exposures

Local exhaust ventilation

1910.94(d)

Respiratory protection

1910.133

Goggles or face shield

1910.134

Skin contact

Impervious gloves and garments

1910.1000

Table A

Salt bath descaling

Burns

Heat resistant gloves and garments

1910.132

Face shield

1910.133

Toxic gases

Local exhaust ventilation

1910.134

Respiratory protection

1910.1000

Table Z-1

Fire/explosion

Proper facility design, construction, maintenance

NFPA 86C, Chapter 11

Proper controls for tank

Proper work procedures

Solvent cleaning

Petroleum or chlorinated hydrocarbon exposure

Local exhaust ventilation

1910.94(d)

1910.132

Cleaning process

Hazard/air contaminant

Control measures

OSHA/NFPA references

1910.133

Respiratory protection

1910.134

1910.1000

Skin contact

Impervious gloves and garments

Tables Z-1, Z-2

Tumbling

Noise exposure

Noise enclosure for equipment

1910.95

Hearing protective devices

Vapor degreasing

Chlorinated hydrocarbon exposure

Condenser cooling system and appropriate thermostats

1910.94(d)

Minimize dragout

Local exhaust ventilation

Solvent decomposition products

Eliminate hot surfaces above 400 °C (750 °F) in the vicinity

Eliminate sources of ultraviolet radiation in the vicinity

Proper monitoring of solvent for acid buildups to prevent exothermic decomposition

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established in its General Industry Standards (29 CFR 1910) regulations pertaining to a variety of safety and health hazards. Those sections of the standards which may apply to each cleaning process are referenced in Table 12. Because of the unusual fire hazard associated with salt bath descaling, an applicable chapter of the NFPA standards has also been referenced.

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