Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Safe handling of combustible dusts: Precautions against explosions

Excellent resource from the United Kingdom's Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE is responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, and for research into workplace risks in England, Wales, and Scotland.

The free 41 page .pdf document provides helpful information on the prevention and mitigation of combustible-dust-related explosions and fires, Information can be easily understood for use by employers, employees, managers, foremen and EHS professionals working in the many manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors. Provides in an easy to read manner, terminology, the hazardous potential, and examples of layers of protection to control the risk.

In addition to the content in this document readers are also encouraged to review the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 and Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres. This will assist stakeholders in obtaining a more in-depth view of possible alternative regulatory approach to the OSHA proposed combustible dust rulemaking.

One major aspect that was overlooked in the OSHA Combustible Dust ANPRM is that dust forms a potentially explosive atmospheres like gases, vapors, and mists. In the U.K and European Union concerning their regulations, an explosive atmosphere is defined a mixture with air, under atmospheric conditions, of flammable gases, vapors, mists or dusts in which, after ignition has occurred, combustion spreads to the entire unburned mixture.

A potentially explosive atmosphere is an atmosphere which could become explosive due to local and operational conditions. So how come OSHA or the Chemical Safety Board can't acknowledge what our international trading partners already understand? A separate OSHA combustible dust standard that deviates from the family of other explosive atmospheres is treading into some dangerous waters.

Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regs 2002
Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres
Fire & Explosions-DSEAR (brochure)

Posted via web from ComDust

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