Home Page Forums Membership Inquiries Ministry of Labour – Dust Collector Blitz

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    Michelle Holden
    Michelle Holden

    Originally Posted December 12th, 2016

    Hello everyone,

    In an effort to keep all BWA members “in the loop” on the latest trends and happenings in the wood industry, I am sharing with you all an email I received from a distraught BWA manufacturing member this morning.

    “Morning Mike.

    We had a visit from the Ministry of Labour yesterday.
    I have never worried about a visit since we have new equipment with all the safety gear on them and out shop is clean, but they shut us down with no time to comply. We run our CNC on a 2014 Belfab 7.5 hp, 3500 cfm indoor dust collector. The dust collector is manufactured in Canada and CSA approved, how is this legal to sell if your not allowed to use it ? According to the Ministry you are non-compliant if you have more than a 1000 cfm unit indoors. I told them we would do whatever is needed to comply, they advised that we have to hire an engineer and get a PSR. I spoke to the inspector’s boss and pleaded my case to give us a week to determine what we need to do to comply and come up with a plan. Order stands. I have already called a local engineer, the fire department and dust collector suppliers to get the ball rolling. If we have to pay 50k and cease operations for 3 months until we can get a new outdoor dust collector we will loose all of our customers and employees I have been through hundreds of shops and 99% of them have indoor dust collectors and will not comply with MLO. I know of a couple other shops that got caught in the same situation in the last couple weeks. You may want to warn the rest of the members .”
    I hope this information is helpful to those BWA members that may be in non-compliance with this.

    Best regards,

    Mike Baker
    Executive Director



    Michelle Holden

    1. Anybody who does finishing in house should have a MOE permit I think, we did ours several years ago and the consultants who did it added the Dust Collector and our deasil generator exhaust that we use to make power. I am pretty sure I am compliant as we also had MOL visit since without a problem. – Just thought would pass this along.

    2. I’ve done some work with the Ministry of Labour on PSRs (Pre-start-up Health and Safety Reviews) in the past. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Labour has absolute say in this type of situation. Belfab, which is out of Quebec, may have different regulations in Quebec, although the CSST has been very strict on indoor dust collectors, requiring explosion-proof enclosures around them. Of course, all of this is contingent on the CSST or the Ministry of Labour actually coming in to do a check. They tend to blitz industry sectors, and this looks like such a blitz period.

    PSRs are, I believe, specific to an installation – i.e. if you get a new CNC and don’t get the proper documentation from the machinery distributor, you may be liable for a PSR. If you have it, and if you install the equipment to the accepted safety norms (Ministry of Labour Green Book), then a PSR is not necessary.

    The company in question may have bought their dust collector used, or the salesman didn’t tell them the regulations, which means they put it in without the manufacturers’ specs being followed. Ignorance of the law, as they say, is no excuse and they are more than triple the CFMs allowed for indoor collectors.

    A call to Kyle at Taurus may help them out, as far as getting the right dust collection equipment a bit quicker, or a call to Macdonald Steel. This is really unfortunate, but the fault lies with the buyer of the equipment. The only solution is to get something in quickly.

    3. I have been selling machines for almost 40 years now and this 1000 CFM rule has always been in place. I (have) just NEVER actually seen anyone enforce it. I would assume he pissed this guy off big time. People just seem to understand that these guys can and do play GOD sometimes so DO NOT DO ANYTHING TO Piss THEM OFF. Listen to what they ask, smile and comply or this can and will happen to you.

    4.Very interesting and I can appreciate their frustration. It is crazy how you can indeed purchase a “Made in Ontario” dust system that is illegal to use. What company was this? I can send a lead for our approved indoor system.

    5. From: Kyle Roseneck at Taurus Craco

    We’ve encountered these issues recently with many manufacturers across Ontario. Over the past few years we’ve worked with many municipalities offering NFPA certified, ministry approved dust collection systems for small, medium & large shop.
    Several BWA members have these units already and can attest to their success.

    If you would like to share with the members that there are solutions available to provide legal indoor systems, I can be available to help any time they need assistance. I have great contacts in the Engineering and approval documents that can be quite useful.
    Let me know any way I can help.

    6. We had ministry of environment ask us to do an assessment our property with our spray booth but this also includes sound pollution now so I had to hire 2 different engineers. Cost me $10,000 . My dust collector passed by 2 decibels. That was about 3 years ago. It took over 2 years for them to send the approval for our booth and dust collector after we sent in the paper work. Lucky for us that we were not ordered to shut down while we were waiting for approval.

    7. Greetings. We had a visit over a year ago. Had to get this done as well. We had Cardinal Engineering Services out of Whitby do it . Have no choice but to get it done. If you member needs a contact number feel free to forward this. Stewart McLellan 1-905-767-7495. One more piece of information about dust collectors. We had to remove our traditional bag interior dust system for the ministry of labor because of the chance of explosion.

    Michelle Holden

    Ontario Ministry of Labour:

    Please take note of important information with respect to Dust Collection and the section of the legislation that stipulates location of
    dust collector units . A link is included below to: Occupational Health and Safety ActR.R.O. 1990, REGULATION 851INDUSTRIAL ESTABLISHMENTS

    Once you click on this link look for Material Handling (45-71), and scroll down for section 65. Note for reference purposes, 0.47 cubic meters per second capacity is equal to 1000cfm. An abbreviated text is below – this is NOT the full act, please click the link above for full information.

    Please also note that in section 65, the first criteria for placement of dust collection units is how “ignitable” the material is. If the material is considered ignitable, the dust collection unit must be placed outside, or
    (b) in a room used solely for the housing of dust-collecting equipment which is,
    (i) separated from the rest of the building by a dust-tight partition having a minimum fire-resistance rating of one hour, and
    (ii) constructed to provide explosion venting to the outdoors.
    Note that the section above does not apply if:
    is used for a wood-working operation other than wood flour manufacturing and having less than 0.47 (1000cfm) cubic metres per second capacity.

    You may also find this link helpful as it pertains to Fire/Explosion Hazards in Handling of Combustible Wood Dust

    Mike Baker
    Executive Director

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