Safety inspections for dust collectors

Make sure your dust collection equipment is safe & compliant

Created 21 نوفمبر, 2023

Dust collection systems are all safety devices and thus state-of-the art modern methods of validation and certification are required. Furthermore it is vital to ensure that the system is still in compliance after perhaps changed process conditions, to provide maximum safety for personnel and the facility. It is also recommended to carry out quality audits, process reliability surveys and annual safety inspections.

Extraction systems handling explosive dusts contain many vital components which must be fully functional and working together to provide the expected safety and reliability of the entire system. If a system is not working as intended, it can have a negative impact on the production process which is no longer protected by the correct extraction, leading to higher rejection rates, health issues with the operators and very high costs for housekeeping. If ignored, lack of housekeeping or malfunction of the extraction system and safety components can ultimately lead to a higher risk of dust explosion with catastrophic consequences. In itself, it also leads to accelerated wear on equipment.

For all ATEX equipment, there is a requirement to conduct regular inspections. The exact interval and requirements depends on the manufacturer and the conditions set out by the notified body responsible for the type approval.

Requirements for inspection...

...and information according to EN 15089.

All explosion isolation systems shall be at least accompanied by instructions that include:

Description of the intended use of the explosion isolation system:

  • All details of operational requirements

Information marked on the product:

  • Requirements for installation
  • General arrangement plan of the isolation system
  • Requirements for commissioning
  • Requirements for maintenance

periodic inspection

Periodic inspection checks should be carried out to ensure that the explosion isolation capability does not deteriorate and would continue to react as originally designed in the event of an explosion.

Full description of procedures to be followed after an explosion:
In case an explosion has occurred, an inspection of the equipment is necessary. After completion of any repairs and before the equipment goes back into service, it is the responsibility of the user to satisfy himself that the equipment is safe and the explosion isolation precautions are suitable for the equipment´s intended use. For further information see also EN 13463-1.

inspection points

Specific inspection points will be listed in the user manual. Most equipment can only be inspected by an authorised engineer. Even in case it is allowed for the end user to inspect himself, its strongly recommended to at least annually use a knowledgeable external company or the manufacturers authorised representative for the inspection. In most cases there are also components that need replacing at some interval. For example seals or batteries for backup power. The inspection is performed to ensure that the system or components are fully functional and still safe.

For example a passive flap valve might be affected by deposited dust on the valve seat or on the internal locking lugs that some models are equipped with. This needs to be identified and cleared. If it´s not done, the valve will not work in case of an explosion.
It’s not sufficient to test single components only as safety depends on the entire system operating as intended.
Furthermore, a trained person performing an inspection can also identify risks that are not directly listed as checkpoints. As earth connection of all conductive parts, this should be part of every inspection at least annually. Automatic and safe shut down is another important point to check.

documenting the inspection

From a formal point of view a documented inspection or maintenance conducted by an authorised company is the prescribed way to prove compliance. In case of an accident or incident, this is vital to be able to prove that the prescribed regular maintenance was performed. If you do this yourself without adequate training or authorisation, the responsibility for any faults lies on you. If on the other hand all instructions were followed and this is documented, you have done all that you can be expected to do.

Another important point to consider is inspection safety. The inspector must fully understand the system to maintain safety during the inspection and use ATEX-approved instruments where applicable.
Camfil can assist you by providing the annual safety inspection for extraction systems used in various industrial applications, including a general functional test of the entire system. In addition to this, we can include online monitoring of your system to spot any problems, in good time. In connection to this Camfil can also supply the required retrofit filter elements for the most common dust collectors on the market.


Regular training of key personnel is another important point. This could be personnel directly working with the equipment but also to repeat what to do in case of an emergency with for example BMS (Building Management System) operators.

Its recommended to have an emergency check list that can be used when the alarm is triggered. All ATEX equipment shall have a section in the manual to list required actions, but this is normally not adapted to site specific conditions. Such a check list must be easily accessible or automatically popping up in the BMS computer. Looking for a specific user manual is not a an option in the event of emergency.

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