• Connect With Us:

Keep Confined Spaces Safe With Air Ventilation Systems

air ventilation systemsBy definition, confined spaces come with a number of hazards, and one common hazard is air. If the air in a confined space is toxic, combustible or low in oxygen, it can be extremely dangerous.

Consequently, OSHA has standards, fact sheets and bulletins on the topic, including Procedures for Atmospheric Testing in Confined Spaces, Asphyxiation Hazard in Pits and Suffocation Hazards in Flat Storage Building and Tanks. OSHA standard 20 CFR 1910.146 applies to confined spaces and includes specifics on forced air ventilation.

Note also that OSHA recently issued its Final Rule on Confined Spaces in Construction (May 4, 2015). You can learn more about managing confined space hazards on our blog.

Air Ventilation Systems for Confined Spaces

So how do you manage hazardous air in confined spaces? In accordance with the OSHA standard, you have to test the air for oxygen content, flammable gases and vapors, and toxic air contaminants before anyone enters the space. If any hazards are detected, no one is allowed to enter the space until forced air ventilation systems have eliminated the hazard.

Types of Air Ventilation Blowers

Forced air ventilation systems use specialized blowers to either blow new air in or old air out (or sometimes both). These blowers come in a variety of types, suitable for different applications.

Axial blowers

Axial blowers are the most popular type of blower in confined space air ventilation systems. They use a blade fan to move air parallel to the fan shaft, over the motor and through attached ducts. Axial blowers come in a variety of sizes, but generally they’re lighter, quieter and less expensive than centrifugal blowers.

Axial blowers also tend to be more compact than centrifugal blowers. In fact, some of the axial blowers at Select Safety Sales can store ducts internally for easy, compact storage.

These blowers come in a variety of blade sizes with different CFM (cubic feet per minute) ratings. To calculate what size of blower to get, you need to know the size and shape of the confined space. (And keep in mind that bends in the attached ducts will negatively impact air exchange rates.)

Centrifugal blowers

Centrifugal blowers use a centrifugal fan to move air. Ducting is stored separately and must be attached each time. Centrifugal blowers tend to be louder, heavier and more expensive than axial blowers, but they also provide higher CFM (cubic feet per minute).

Explosion proof blowers

Explosion proof blowers are required when ventilating confined spaces with combustible hazards, such as flammable gases or fine dust. These blowers use statically conductive ducting to reduce the risk of fire or explosion.

Air Ventilation Systems at Select Safety Sales

At Select Safety Sales, we carry air ventilation systems and axial blowers designed confined space ventilation. We’re proud to carry products from Allegro Industries. Allegro has been designing and manufacturing high quality safety equipment since 1987.

Need help selecting the right air ventilation system for your workplace? Give our safety experts a call toll free at (866) 864-3495 or email sales@selectsafetysales.com. Or use our online chat!

SSLSafety CouncilMcafeeGSA
Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved
  • Connect With Us: