Lesson Learned Statement:Portable vacuum cleaners may not be acceptable for use in clean-up of hazardous materials.
The 3M Corporation manufactures small vacuum cleaners for use in both HEPA and non-HEPA applications. Both have the appearance of a large black plastic lunchbox with the hose and attachments stored inside the lid when not in use. The Service Vacuum, Model 497, is produced by the Electronic Products Division of 3M Corporation and may be equipped with either a Type 1 or Type 2 filter. Although the Type 1 filter is fabricated using "HEPA filter media", the Service Vacuum, equipped with either filter, is not acceptable for use to vacuum hazardous materials such as asbestos, beryllium, uranium, etc.
The 3M HEPA Vacuum, Model 497 AJK, is produced by the Occupational Health and Environmental Safety Division of 3M and comes equipped with a true HEPA filter certified to meet HEPA performance of 99.97% filtration efficiency at 0.3 micron particle size. Although these are marketed as a Model 497 AJK, some units have been found with only Model 497 stamped on the name plate inside the unit. This has raised concerns as to whether these units can be used for hazardous materials since the operating manual for the Model 497 Service Vacuum clearly states on page 1: "Do not use this machine to vacuum hazardous dust."
To insure these vacuums are not used for the wrong applications, the use of all 3M "lunchbox style" vacuums, Models 497 and 497 AJK, in the Y-12 National Security Complex shall be immediately discontinued pending a visual inspection of each unit by the Y-12 Filter Service Group. (Contact Tony Gross, 865-576-4118, pager 873-9948, UID jgv, e-mail email@example.com for the inspections.)
The inspection and subsequent approval for use will be based on guidance provided by the 3M Corporation and requirements of the Y-12 HEPA Test Program. Vacuums that meet the requirements for use in hazardous applications will be labeled and approved for use by Filter Services. Those not meeting the requirements will be clearly identified as being "Non-HEPA" and will only be approved for use involving general vacuum activities that do not require HEPA filtration.
Originator:BWXT Y-12, R. S. Hamby, 865-574-2204
Validator:BWXT Y-12, J. C. Gross, 865-576-4118
Contact:BWXT Y-12, K. A. Hensley, 865-574-3546
Name Of Authorized Derivative Classifier:J. P. Johnson, 865-574-1667
Name Of Reviewing Official:None provided.
Priority Descriptor:Yellow / Caution
Keywords:HEPA, Filter, Filters, Hazardous Materials, Vacuum Cleaners, Vacuums, Service Vacuum
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DOE Function / Work Categories:Conduct of Operations - General
Decontamination & Decommissioning
Engineering Design and Construction - Non-Nuclear
Engineering Design and Construction - Nuclear
Maintenance - Other
Operations - Facility
Occupational Safety & Health - General
ISM Category:Analyze Hazards
Hazard:Personal Injury / Exposure - Hazardous Material (General)
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