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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) for a Free Consultation!

About Environmental Risk Management

1-Source Turnkey Environmental & Safety Services

Since 1989, Environmental Risk Management has been providing responsive, client focused 1-source turnkey solutions for a wide variety of environmental safety challenges. With our experience and extensive network of diverse internal and external resources, our clients trust us to provide quality Environmental & Safety Services for their businesses. Our environmental compliance specialists recognize the need to consult with private industry and the business community and our goal is to ensurer our client’s are complying with complex environmental regulations and minimizing their environmental liabilities.
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