The U.S. Department of Labor released a safety alert last week concerning the hazards of accidents and injuries due to static electricity while working near vacuum operations.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration is urging workers to exercise extreme caution in and around vacuum trucks because of potentially life-threatening hazards.
Static electricity-related hazards may result in shock, explosions and secondary injuries.
Best practices to stay safe during vacuum operations:
- Make sure the truck is connected to an object that is grounded.
- Ensure the truck has a connection that is constantly monitored for the duration of the operation.
- When a break in the grounding connection occurs, use interlocks to trigger a shutdown of the transfer operation.
- Use conductive or semi-conductive hoses and test their continuity often.