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Maintenance, inspection and testing of H-Class vacuum cleaners

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has produced a new guide for users of H-Class vacuum cleaners capable of cleaning up asbestos.

H-Class industrial strength vacuums are the best way to clean up all asbestos contaminated dust and small pieces of debris, followed by a wet-wipe of any surfaces. However, it is important that these vacuums are regularly maintained, inspected and tested.

Maintenance requirements and tips, what national standards apply, and a range of testing issues are all covered in the guide, as well as information on what a WHSQ inspector will look for when checking them over.

Vacuum cleaners used for asbestos need to comply with the Class H requirements in AS/NZS 60335.2.69 Particular requirements for wet and dry vacuum cleaners, including power brush, for industrial and commercial use or its international equivalents (International Standard IEC 60335-2-69).

HEPA filters used in H-Class vacuums need to comply with AS 4260-1997 High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters – Classification, construction and performance or its international equivalent.

There also is information on how vacuum cleaners can be damaged, including:

  • improper use, such as cleaning up dust from heavy concrete grinding or use in other in highly dusty environments
  • misuse or damage, for example, from being dropped, knocked around during transport in vehicles, tied down too tightly with ratchet straps, or not replacing inlet or exhaust caps.

Further information

The guide features photos of vacuum cleaners that both do and do not comply with Australian standards, as well as an example of a damaged cleaner and is available at qld.gov.au/asbestos.

Last updated
27 October 2017

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