Learn to Avoid Dust Explosions That Can Cause Severe Structural Damage and Loss of Life

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A dust explosion is a very rapid burning of the dust while it’s still suspended in the air, known as deflagration. If this happens in a confined enclosure (building, room, vessel, equipment) there may be an explosion. The dispersion of dust in particulate or finely ground form enables the dust to burn very rapidly. Dust fires and explosions pose immediate and deadly risks to health and safety and are routinely catastrophic in nature, resulting in severe structural damage and the loss of life.

Five Factors Create a Dust Explosion…

  1. Oxygen
  2. Heat
  3. Fuel
  4. Dispersion of Dust
  5. Confinement

All five must exist for an explosion to occur.

After the Initial Dust Explosion, Secondary Explosions are Relatively Common

In most cases, the initial explosion throws more dust into the air which can cause one or more secondary explosions. These secondary explosions can be far more destructive than the primary explosion because of the increased quantity and concentration of dispersed combustible dust. Company owners and employees are unaware that the potential hazard exists in most cases and it can be a fatal mistake.

Don’t Wait for an Explosion! – See the Statistics…

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) identified 281 combustible dust incidents between 1980 and 2005 that led to the deaths of 119 workers, injured 718, and extensively damaged numerous industrial facilities. More recently 3 workers were killed in a 2010 titanium dust explosion in West Virginia and 14 were killed in a 2008 sugar dust explosion in Georgia. OSHA spotlights dust explosions in it’s National Emphasis Program and classifies combustible dust as a hazardous chemical that is to align with the requirements of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

Environmental Risk Management can examine your facility and operations to help you prevent dust explosions.

Contact Us (859-689-9222 – KY, 513-367-4100 – OH) to get more information about how we can help your business.