Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fire & Explosion Protection, ATEX Forum

Plant managers including health and safety personnel that are seeking additional information concerning explosion and fire protection at their facility that generates combustible dust will find the Bulk-Online Powder/Bulk Portal Forum on Fire & Explosion Protection, ATEX, very helpful.

Numerous topics in the ATEX forum have been posted concerning the prevention and mitigation of combustible dust fires and explosions from professionals around the world. ATEX, or ATmosphères EXplosibles(French) is the European Union directive concerning combustible dust, which applies to best engineering practices (ATEX 95) and workerplace health and safety standards (ATEX 137) in potentially explosive atmospheres such as flammable liquids, gases, and vapors.

This is where the disconnect currently is, at manufacturing facilities in the United States that handle combustible particulates solids which generate combustible dust. Not realizing and acknowledging that combustible dust is under the same umbrella as flammable liquids, gases, and vapors that create explosive atmospheres is a recipe for disaster. Such as was experienced February 7, 2008 at the catastrophic Imperial Sugar Refinery explosion and over 60 combustible dust fires and explosions that have occurred since then.

The Industrial Fire, Safety and Security Conference held at the Reliant Center in Houston, Texas on February 4-6 2009 will bring together a diverse spectrum of EH&S, HazMat, security, rescue, medical, and other emergency management stakeholders to a premier event in conjunction with providing the knowledge and information that combustible dust is synonymous with potentially explosive atmospheres. Lets break the disconnect in the prevention of future preventable and predictable combustible dust related fires and explosions occurring in manufacturing facilities throughout the United States.

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