OSHA's continuing proactive efforts in ensuring that manufacturing facilities have minimized the occurrence and reduced the severity of combustible dust hazards in the workplace is best illustrated when reviewing an inspection report and General Duty Clause citation ($6,400) completed several months earlier at similar evaporated dairy product manufacturing plant (NAICS 311514) in Wisconsin.
General Duty Clause Citation(excerpt)
1.Protein dryer were located inside a building lacked explosion venting.
2.Storage bin, located inside the building, did not have explosion venting.
3.Pneumatic Conveyor did not have spark detectors
AMONG OTHER METHODS, ONE FEASIBLE AND ACCEPTABLE ABATEMENT METHOD TO CORRECT THIS HAZARD IS to comply with National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Chapter 61 Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities, 2008 edition; NFPA 69 "Standard on Explosion Prevention Systems" 2008 edition; NFPA 654 "Standard for the Prevention of fire and Dust Explosion from the Manufacturing, Processing and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids" 2006 edition
Hopefully the Wisconsin facility has taken immediate action on the key items which the OSHA inspector cited in the report. Other manufacturing facilities can learn from the recent explosion that occurred in California, where explosion ventilation panels effectively reduced the risk to life and property. California Dairies is an industry leader in the evaporated dairy product manufacturing sector and should be commended for the preventative and mitigative control measures that management instituted in addressing combustible dust hazards.
There are many sources where explosion ventilation panels can be acquired after a process hazard analysis is completed. For example, Construction Specialties is a global leader in providing explosion ventilation panels with it's field testable and ATEX 95 compliant C/S Explovent® If your facility does not have explosion ventilation panels installed yet, then maybe it's time to include this important investment in the 2009 budget.
Example Milk Powder Process
Lessons Learned : Explosion in a Milk Powder Processing Plant
New Zealand Dairy Industry Spray Drying Plant-Dust Explosion Control