Sunday, March 23, 2008

Timeline: Recent Combustible Dust Explosions

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The most recent combustible dust explosion occurred on the same day that the House Education and Labor Committee was having a hearing on HR 5522, "The Combustible Dust Fire and Explosion Prevention Act of 2008".

Testifying were William Wright, Acting Chair of the Chemical Safety Board: Ed Foulke, OSHA; Tammy Miser (whose brother, Shawn Boone, was killed in a combustible dust explosion); David Sarvadi, representing the US Chamber of Commerce; and Amy Spencer of the National Fire Protection Association.


Anonymous said...

Just wait until somebody starts digging into the equipment certification of powered industrial equipment allowed for use in Division 2 explosion hazardous areas.

The NFPA 70 committee washes their hands on this issue with NFPA 505.
NFPA 505 refers to UL 583, UL 558, UL 1203 and ANSI B56.1 (now ITSDF B56.1) regarding the use of powered industrial equipment in potentially explosion hazardous areas.

NFPA 505 claims that EE, ES, DY, DS, LPS & CS rated equipment is suitable for use in Division 2 explosion hazardous areas according to UL 558 & UL 583.

UL 583 confirms the suitability of use of EX rated equipment for explosion hazardous areas, but makes no claims in this regard to EE or ES equipment.

UL 558 does not even cover DX equipment, which according to NFPA 505 can be used in hazardous areas, and makes no claims of suitability for use in explosion hazardous areas is made for DY, DS, LPS or CS equipment.

UL claims that UL1203 does not apply to Div 2 equipment (I have not read this code yet), so I don't know if it refers to these areas.

ITSDF B56.1 does not cover any real construction issues regarding the use of electrical equipment in explosion hazardous areas. Besides this the B56.1 is one of those a voluntary self regulating code.

OSHA 1910.178 just copies NFPA 505 on this subject and refers to look for a recognized testing laboratory certification/label......but a label for what, definitely not one that falsely claims that the equipment was tested and certified for the use in explosion hazardous areas?

So why can this equipment that is not rated or certified for the use in explosion hazardous areas be used in explosion hazardous areas you may ask.


So why does unprotected equipment continue to blow up facilities?


Another time bomb waiting to go off.


John Astad said...


Wow, I had no idea. Thanks for bringing up NFPA 505 Fire Safety Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks Including Type Designations, Areas of Use, Conversions, Maintenance, and Operations and the EE, ES, DY, DS, LPS & CS designations including UL 583, UL 558, UL 1203 and ANSI B56.1 (now ITSDF B56.1.

I'll have to check it out right away and do some homework.

Thanks a bunch for bringing this to light of such a complex and important subject, which you highlighted some key areas


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