Facebook LinkedIn

Dust Hazard Analysis

Combustible Dust is a real, deadly, and yet completely avoidable hazard. Although engineering and safety practices have existed for decades combustible dust explosions continue to claim the lives of and seriously injure workers as well as cause millions of dollars in damage to manufacturing facilities. Between 1980 and 2005 the US Chemical and Safety Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) uncovered 281 fires and explosions due to preventable explosive dust which resulted in 119 deaths and 718 injuries.

Sadly, most combustible dust fires and explosions could have been avoided if there was greater awareness of explosible materials and practices. According to Angela Blair, a CSB investigator, “Most solid organic materials will explode if the particles are small enough and dispersed in a sufficient concentration.” OSHA has published a comprehensive list of known explosive dusts. Awareness of combustibility and good house-keeping practices are not sufficient. Most of the deaths and injuries are caused by secondary dust explosions. In one particular case, the work areas were extremely clean and dust-free. Unfortunately, years of dust that had accumulated on a dropped ceiling, caused a secondary explosion. Amy Beasley Spencer of the NFPA cautions, “You don’t want to over-rely on house-keeping because if you have house-keeping around the clock and you’re still seeing layers of dust, you might want to look at your system to see why that dust is being produced in the first place.”

Navigating Combustible Dust regulation can be overwhelming. Rules and regulations vary by material, manufacturing process, state, and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ). At Air Systems Corporation we have decades of success in the effective mitigation of combustible dust. Consider our dedication to explosion mitigation:

At Air Systems Engineering:

  • We have unparalleled expertise concerning the processes and hazards which cause explosive dust.
  • We are thoroughly familiar with NFPA regulations and OSHA standards.
  • We have developed strategies, systems, and provided equipment to effectively mitigate combustible dust for a variety of manufacturing processes and needs.