Thursday, April 3, 2008

Debut April Combustible Dust Incident

After 14 combustible related dust incidents last month which included 6 explosions, the month of April will be starting out in the same dismal form. On Tuesday, April Fool's Day, a combustible dust fire started in the silo that contained sawdust generated from the wooden flooring manufacturing process at Appalachian Wood Floors in Portsmouth, Ohio bordering Kentucky on the northern banks of the industrious Ohio river.

Ohio is no stranger to combustible dust fires and explosions. Less than two months earlier and hundred miles west, further up the Ohio River in Cincinnati, a wooden products plant vanished off the face of the earth as the owner watched nearly three decades of memories burn to the ground. Toughest part was the mentally anguishing dilemma of the nearly two dozen employees who no longer had a place to go to work the next day on Monday morning. Luckily no injuries in this incident either.

Just over three years ago, about an hours drive south from Lake Erie in Leipsic, Ohio at a pet food manufacturer, a combustible dust explosion occurred in the silo injuring one firefighter. The day before the incident, firefighters worked to clear smoldering cellulose in the silo. It is believed that an ember remained in the machinery overnight and caused the flash dust explosion the following afternoon.

Preventive and mitigative measures is very expensive for business with the installation of detection, isolation, ventilation and suppression fire equipment. Should this fire and explosion equipment be required at all business's that handle combustible particulate solids that generate combustilbe dust? Thats a tough question to answer especially with the many small companies that barely are getting by with other overhead costs.

A cost benefit analysis would best be able to determine an equitable solution. In the meantime the clock is ticking for the next combustible dust explosion in the magnitude of the tragic preventable and predictable Imperial Sugar Refinery explosion two months ago on the western banks of the Savannah River in Port Wentworth , Georgia.

1 comment:

Kane said...

1) Dust Explosion Rocks Sanborn, IA Co-op
2) On Wednesday afternoon, a fire broke out in the dust collection system of a dental products firm at the Greenfield Corporate Center, Lafayette Fire Company officials said.
3_) PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ)--Firefighters in Portsmouth are battling a fire that is more dangerous than it may look, and they've been doing it for about six hours.

The fire started around 6 Tuesday morning.

The fire is inside a silo filled with saw dust at the Appalachian Wood Floors plant.



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