Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Alternative: Facility Licensing that Generate Combustible Dust

I'd like to share this post that was authored by Timothy Anderson, Owner, Allfeed Process and Packaging Inc in the ComDust discussion group.

Information is powerful and it’s easy to become complacent when life experiences do not match the statistics. For instance, when you operate fork trucks for 30 years and never heard of an LPS classification of forklift or understood that there are also additional classes of electric fork trucks, then its easy to stop looking or stop asking questions to answers you didn't knew exist. Additionally, when the OEM (original equipment manufacturer), does not enlighten you or when OSHA inspectors visit your facility, when you have two, then three, then four trucks, and says nothing until you have ten forklifts then fines you $60,000 dollars, you then immediately realize you can not count on them (and shouldn't) for the answers.

Having farmed for some years (late 70’s to mid 80’s) it was common a few times each day to open the engine compartment to put out the embers from soybean or corn dust that accumulated on the engine and were smoldering. We never looked to see if there were any, there always were, we were just hunting them down.

In the grain elevator business, running corn dryers, we did fire watches each hour. Again not to look to see if there were hot spots but to find the ones that were always there. So in the feed business, when we get done running our LP or diesel equipment, we simply blew down the motors and put out any embers that might be there, and sometimes there are.

This is how it has been done for a long time. I agree with the changes that are coming down the pike but don’t agree with how they are coming down. Licensing is the real answer. Upgrade the test annually so changes are small. These pendulum swings from no knowledge to no tolerance is bad business.

Posted by Timothy Anderson

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Combustible Dust Discussion Group

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