Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Georgia Leads in Preventing Combustible Dust Incidents

Georgia is now leading the nation in preventing future combustible dust incidents with a proactive program that requires all new and existing facilities that have operations involving the manufacturing, processing, and/or handling combustible particulate solids including manufacturing processes that create combustible dust to register with the state by July 1, 2008.

In addition to requiring facilities to register the Rules and Regulations for Loss Prevention Due to Combustible Dust Explosions and Fire were adopted by the state on March 7, 2008. These proactive measures provide a high level of safety awareness that will prevent and mitigate the occurrence of future combustible dust explosions and fires.

Georgia has adopted the International Fire Code, which makes reference to the numerous National Fire Protection Association combustible dust codes. Such as NFPA 654
Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids, which is available for free viewing and purchase on the NFPA website.

Georgia Fire Safety Symposium
While taking the lead, the Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, led by Commissioner John Oxendine has organized an educational program with the help of his professional staff, which is open to the public at the Georgia Fire Safety Symposium to be held at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, Georgia on July 14-18 2008. Several educational tracks will cover engineering/building inspections, hazardous materials inspections, and fire safety education for fire professionals who work daily in the fire protection filed. The Symposium is the 37th annual event and is part of the Fire Education program that the state provides in accordance with the mandate of Official Code of Georgia Annotated Title 25, Chapter 2.

Combustible Dust Training
A special aspect of the Symposium will be two days of training concerning NFPA Standards on Dust Explosions on Hazards. Guy Colona, NFPA Vice President of Chemical Engineering and Amy Spencer NFPA Senior Chemical Engineer will be providing the presentations. Topics will include dust hazard characterization, background on lessons learned from previous combustible dust incidents, hazard recognition, hazard assessment, and explosion hazard management.

Participants attending the two days of combustible dust training in the 500 seat auditorium will gain an understanding of the numerous NFPA combustible dust codes that are referenced in the International Fire Code, which cover metals, agricultural and food products, wood, explosion venting, and explosion prevention systems.

Conclusion
The most unique aspect of the Symposium is that it is open to the public. So now all stakeholders who work, manage, or own manufacturing facilities that generate combustible dust from combustible particulate solids will have chance to gain an understanding of the complex subject concerning combustilbe dust. After June 20, 2008 tickets will cost $125.00, a very reasonable fee considering the scope and depth of the content.

Other states can now learn from Georgia's proactive example in also instituting measures in preventing and mitigating future combustible dust incidents in addition to providing combustible dust training to stakeholders in their region.

Resources:
2008 Brochure and Registration Forms
2008 Fire Safety Symposium Registration Form


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