Many industrial facilities handle combustible particulate material that pose fire and explosion hazards. Managing combustible dust hazards is critical to ensure the safety of the plant personnel and operations. In order to effectively manage combustible dust hazards, they must first be identified and understood. A dust hazards analysis (DHA) is a systematic review and assessment of a process and/or facility led by someone with knowledge and experience in understanding and identifying combustible dust hazards. A DHA is a tool to help plant managers and operators address and manage hazards that may not have been otherwise obvious. It is also a documented record of awareness that places a diligence and duty on the plant manager/owner to address the hazards.
Compliance with the NFPA standards for combustible dust safety, especially NFPA 652 Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust 2019, requires that a DHA be completed for new and existing processes and facilities where combustible dust is present. (The surpassed deadline for DHA completion was September 7, 2020. Note the upcoming January 1, 2022 deadline for existing agricultural and food processing facilities not undergoing significant modification.) DHA’s must also be reviewed and updated every five years.