Identifying and understanding combustible dust risks

July 12, 2022
Get fired up about combustible dust.

Light flashed innocently from a small dust cloud. A pressure wave from this tiny ignition suddenly exploded. The cloud swallowed an operator nearby, who began to choke as it seared his nose and throat. A larger explosion, like a flash bulb, erupted out of nowhere. He was thrown across the room and killed by the pressure wave from the chain reaction resulting from the dust explosion. Pretty grim.

Combustible dust demands respect. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board cited 119 deaths from dust explosions from 1980–2005. (Dust also can pose a variety of other risks, as noted in “Dust Never Sleeps.")

I’ve broken this subject into five aspects: 1) understanding the risk; 2) identifying the risk; 3) classifying the risk, i.e., creating electrical-area-classification drawings; 4) mitigating the risk; and 5) establishing and maintaining a structure of vigilance.

To learn more, read "Safety Advice: Get Fired Up About Combustible Dust" from Chemical Processing.

Sponsored Recommendations

Arc Flash Prevention: What You Need to Know

March 28, 2024
Download to learn: how an arc flash forms and common causes, safety recommendations to help prevent arc flash exposure (including the use of lockout tagout and energy isolating...

Reduce engineering time by 50%

March 28, 2024
Learn how smart value chain applications are made possible by moving from manually-intensive CAD-based drafting packages to modern CAE software.

Filter Monitoring with Rittal's Blue e Air Conditioner

March 28, 2024
Steve Sullivan, Training Supervisor for Rittal North America, provides an overview of the filter monitoring capabilities of the Blue e line of industrial air conditioners.

Limitations of MERV Ratings for Dust Collector Filters

Feb. 23, 2024
It can be complicated and confusing to select the safest and most efficient dust collector filters for your facility. For the HVAC industry, MERV ratings are king. But MERV ratings...