Industrial compliance is a far-reaching term that simply refers to obeying industry-specific laws and regulations. These laws can be complex, oriented towards everything from worker safety to accounting and bookkeeping to product packaging. However, many regulations across industries involve keeping spaces safe and under control. For this reason, industrial curtains and barriers provide excellent solutions for the compliance standards established by regulatory bodies in the United States. Let’s look through which departments and organizations create these laws, then do a case-by-case study on three kinds of regulations. We will look at how industrial curtains fulfill the compliance requirements for workplace safety, noise control, fire codes, and climate emissions. 

Who Establishes Industrial Compliance Regulations?

There are multiple sources for compliance standards in the United States. OSHA, the Occupational Health and Safety Department of the United States Department of Labor, is in charge of setting safety standards for workplaces around the country. It handles worker complaints, workplace inspections, and regulatory decisions. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) handles building hazards such as fires and electrical risks. Their compliance regulations cover the layouts of buildings and safety features within based on the building’s purpose. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) covers industry standards for sustainability and environmental impact. All variables from carcinogens, molds, waste, and recycling fall under the purview of EPA regulations.

Industrial Curtains for Compliance Standards

When it comes to fulfilling compliance requirements, all three agencies find uses for industrial curtains, barriers, and partitions. Industrial curtains are a flexible, multi-faceted solution for a variety of regulatory requirements. OSHA violations in construction fields can be avoided by cordoning off spaces with industrial curtains. Equipment such as arc welders and angle grinders require thorough personal protection equipment because they create by-products that are dangerous for workers without protective equipment. The use of industrial curtains can also appease fire codes. Much of fire safety is tied in with air quality control. Fire spreads easily through certain airborne materials, like sawdust. Industrial curtains restrict airflow in key chokepoints, slowing the spread of fire and the proliferation of hazardous smoke. Environmental regulation handles electricity usage and emissions. It is therefore no surprise that industrial curtains assist with this. Regulating temperatures in warehouses and storage using partitions reduces energy consumption.

Avoiding OSHA Violations

OSHA requires workers dealing with dangerous and volatile circumstances to wear specialized PPE. Many compliance standards for work involving welders and grinders concern the risks that these tools place upon other people nearby who may not be wearing the same equipment. For example, welding without proper eyewear, protective gloves, and clothing is an OSHA violation. Angle grinders eject small, sharp particles of raw material at high speeds. In the case of grinding metals, the high energy involved can cause the slag to spark, become molten, and emit light. Specialized industrial barriers block harmful wavelengths of light and reduce the brightness of these procedures, preventing onlookers from damaging their eyes. They also block particles, fumes, and more with resilient material that poses no additional environmental danger. This way, workers nearby won’t be exposed to toxic fumes or life-threatening hazards, and all compliance requirements are met.

Noise Control is Not an Option

An often overlooked occupational hazard is hearing loss. Both a single loud noise and repeated exposure to noises above a safe decibel level can lead to a loss of hearing over time. Occupational hearing loss not only is permanent but also affects a range of conditions including cognitive functions and mental health. While it’s clear that some loud noise on a work site is unavoidable, especially in industries like manufacturing, there are plenty of compliance standards concerning avoidable hearing loss that can be addressed with an industrial curtain. After all, every employee on a work site may be wearing ear protection, but this won’t help passers-by. Well-made industrial curtains and soundproof barriers prevent a large volume of sound from passing through. Even on larger sites, partitioning the space reduces the volume in each portion and also keeps the sound impact on the surrounding area contained.

Fire Safety Through Industrial Barriers

Air quality is both a beginning point and a result of fire safety. Low-quality air that is dense with contaminants or flammable particulates increases the risk of fires. At the same time, fires burning combustible materials produce smoke that damages human lungs. Controlling dust and contaminants is key to fire prevention in workplaces that frequently produce airborne particles. Welding stations are notoriously prone to fires. Arc welders, when improperly grounded, can produce arc flashes, where high-voltage electricity travels through the air to unpredictable surfaces. If a flash hits a flammable wall or object, it could cause disaster. This is why compliance standards exist to ensure that barriers are in place to prevent undue fire risk. Barriers can also prevent the direct spread of fires. A sealed barrier can starve a growing fire of airflow and quarantine its smoke. This helps the fire department extinguish it before it causes significant damage.

Meeting Compliance Requirements for Climate

Compliance regulations for environmental purposes are sometimes less direct. There are clear cases where partitioning a space prevents environmental damage, like with toxic fumes that must be filtered out of the air before they are released into the atmosphere. However, several important environmental compliance standards use barriers in ways that do not tangibly display the act of prevention like how a soundproof barrier will block sound. Instead, they affect emissions and electricity consumption. In the food industry, a cold storage or walk-in freezer with a curtain over the entrance will retain its cold temperature much more easily than a freezer with only a door. As workers enter and exit the freezer, they will let out cold air and force the freezer’s air conditioning unit to lower the temperature again. The less air that escapes, the less electricity is used to maintain the temperature.

Compliance Standards are a Breeze with Curtains

Singer Safety provides time-tested industrial curtains for several industries. Whether you are attempting to meet compliance standards for noise control, climate emissions, or fire safety, Singer Safety has a product that will help. Safety curtains come in a range of sizes and materials. They can be custom-fit for your warehouse specifications. Singer Safety established the first industrial safety barriers in 1950 and has been an innovator in safety equipment ever since. Browse through our website to see what industries we service, look through our gallery of products in use on worksites around the country, and request a quote from our professional staff today.