Understanding Combustible Dust – Two Helpful Resources

An issue that is far too overlooked, and seriously underestimated is that of fugitive combustible dust. Dusts that have explosive potential pose significant risk and when those risks are ignored, the results can be devastating.

Combustible Dust Awareness and Regulations

Systems that lack the proper safeguards for combustible dust ignition can result in consequences ranging from fines for noncompliance to devastating explosions and loss of life. Perhaps the best known example of a combustible dust tragedy is the Imperial Sugar Disaster of 2008. In the aftermath of this event, rigorous and demanding regulatory standards for managing combustible dusts have increased, raising awareness in the field. Under the Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP), which was reissued following the disaster, OSHA ramped up its enforcement of worker safety regulations in plants that handle a wide range of fugitive dusts.

Understanding and Managing Your Combustible Dust Risk

If you have combustible dust or fugitive emissions within your facility, some direction in the proper capture and collection of that dust is important. Current NFPA standards indicate that you need to know the risks that exist in your facility. It is your responsibility to understand the nature of your dust, including whether or not it is combustible. Dust testing and a DHA (Dust Hazard Analysis) is an essential first step.

Combustible Dust Resources

Air Solutions is ready to serve you in addressing your dust control requirements. Our team has combustible dust experience and maintains a network of associates to address your dust control applications. When we encounter resources that will help our customers understand the complex issues relating to combustible dust, we are eager to share them. Below are two such resources that we’ve found to be very useful.

Explosive Dust Roadmap

Imperial Systems has developed a flow chart to help you consider a path to address your dust collection applications. (Click image to see a larger version)

Image Courtesy of Imperial Systems

Combustible Dust Flow Chart

Air Solutions has referred industrial customers to Fauske & Associates so that those manufacturers could learn more about the characteristics of the dusts within their facilities. Fauske provides a well-developed and informative flow chart resource. It demonstrates how something as simple as a Go/No-Go test can help in determining a direction for containing, capturing, and controlling dust. (Click image to see a larger version)

Image Courtesy of Fauske & Associates, LLC

Your Partner for Combustible Dust & Fugitive Emission Solutions

Air Solutions, Inc. can assist you in the development of a system to contain, capture, convey, and filter your fugitive emissions. The system could include hoods and/or enclosures, a duct system, a dust collector, a fan, and safety related components. Our team and the manufacturers that we represent are ready to help you develop and maintain safe, effective dust control for your facility. Contact us today.