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Industrial Ceiling Fan Hazards that you should be aware

Industrial fans are used in various industries and are necessary for proper ventilation and cooling. However, they can pose significant safety hazards if not handled properly. In this article, we will discuss six industrial fan safety hazards that employees should be aware of.

Direct Contact with Rotating Blades

The most significant risk to occupational safety and health that could come from industrial fans is close or direct contact with the fan blades. Close proximity to the fan blades can cause blowing dust or dirt, which is particularly hazardous to eyes and human or animal health. High-speed airflow can knock you off of your feet. Bodily harm or injury can occur when coming into contact with the fan blades.

To mitigate these risks, large industrial ceiling fans are mounted high above employees, and they output airflow at high volume but rotate at a low fan speed. This lessens the possibility of particles coming into contact with employees’ eyes and throats, disruptive air pushing employees off of their feet, or making contact with the rotating fan blades.

Integrating with Sprinkler Systems

Larger commercial buildings that use large industrial ceiling fans such as warehouses or distribution centers often have other systems in place as a hazard assessment to help keep the building safe, including sprinklers. Sprinklers are important for fire safety, but they can make it hard to choose the right industrial ceiling fan to properly cool a building since they have to be accounted for during a fan’s placement and installation.

Here are some guidelines to follow when looking to install large industrial fans in buildings protected by sprinkler systems:

● The maximum fan diameter should be 24 ft (7.3 m). ● The HVLS fan shall be centered approximately between four adjacent sprinklers. ● The vertical clearance from the HVLS fan to sprinkler deflector shall be a minimum of 3 ft. (0.9 m). ● All HVLS fans should be interlocked to shut down immediately upon receiving a water-flow signal from the alarm system in accordance with the requirements of National Fire Protection Agency 72.

Loose Parts or Damage

When installing a large industrial ceiling fan, parts becoming loose can occur. Fans can travel long distances for delivery. They encounter vibration, bumps, and weather causing loose or damaged parts. Loose or missing components and damage can create safety hazards or fan operation issues.

For a gear motor fan, listen for any unusual noises, squeaks, squeals, hum, or rubbing. Inspect thoroughly and keep up with maintenance procedures. For gearless motors, no matter how advanced the gears on a conventional fan are, at some point, they will wear down and need to be fixed or replaced. A gearless fan uses sensors to gather operating data in real time and make power level adjustments on the fly, which further cuts down on maintenance and operating costs.

Material or Debris Entering the Fan

Certain fans are more susceptible to the dangers of an object entering the path of the fan blades. For instance, floor fans or industrial blowers are either on the ground or close to it and closer to objects that can enter into the fan. An object entering the path of a fan blade can become a projectile injury to anyone in close proximity to floor fans.

HVLS Ceiling fans are mounted on the ceiling, far from any material or debris that could possibly enter the path of the fan blades.

Contact with Hot Motor Surface

Just like any other piece of industrial equipment within a warehouse, fan motors can reach really high temperatures after extended use. Let the unit have a cool-down period before starting work around fan motors.

Guards or Cages

Guards or cages keep employees from directly coming in contact with fan blades. However, even guards and cages can become an industrial fan safety hazard if not properly maintained. Properly secure guards and cages to the fan housing

JSO'Will is an Authorized HVLS Dealer serving the greater Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Yakima, Spokane and Portland area. Visit us at

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