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Alert: Fan Blades in Positive-Pressure Blowers

  • ISSN: 1195-5228
  • Issued: March 1994
  • Content last reviewed: June 2009

Hazard Summary:

Positive-pressure fans or blowers are used in the fire service to ventilate smoke and heat. Recently, a few minutes after a firefighter started a gas-powered positive-pressure fan to ventilate a room, parts of the fan blade assembly broke apart. Several pieces penetrated the protective screen on the front of the fan housing and lodged in the ceiling.

Affected Fans:

Positive-pressure fans manufactured by Super Vacuum Manufacturing Company, Inc., Model 720G4, delivered before August 1992. These have 20 inch (51 cm) fan blades made of aluminum.

Locations and Sector(s):

Municipal and industrial fire services

Suggested Precautions:

Section 25(1)(b) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires the employer to ensure that "equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are maintained in good condition."

All fans of this type should be inspected on a regular basis as recommended by the manufacturer. Fan assemblies that show cracks or other defects should immediately be taken out of service and returned to the manufacturer for repair.

This Ministry of Labour Alert has no legal effect and does not constitute and is not a substitute for legal advice. If you require specific assistance with respect to the interpretation of a legislative provision and its potential application to you please contact your legal counsel.

Remember that while complying with occupational health and safety laws, you are also required to comply with applicable environmental laws.

Please photocopy Ministry of Labour Alerts, distribute them widely and post them where people will see them.