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.

Resources
Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regs 2002
Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres
Fire & Explosions-DSEAR (brochure)
FIRE SAFETY –FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT

Posted via web from ComDust

Large Machine Ignited ?

fire was contained mainly to the large machine, which is approximately 11 feet tall, four feet wide and four feet deep. The machine collects fine metal shavings

Hmm, I wonder what this could be? The fire chief, in the news account, mentions that the machine collects fine metal shavings. Information on their website mentions that the Massachusetts ISO 9001 certified facility manufactures spring loaded devices, ball plungers, leveling devices and mechanical components to all major industries since 1943.

Posted via web from ComDust

Grain Elevator Explosion in Texas-When all Heck Broke Loose (1976)

Emergency response radio transmission with phone calls & radio traffic synchronized as it occurred real time in the Houston Fire Department dispatch office when the Goodpasture Grain Elevator Exploded in Galena Park, Texas February 22 1976. This was prior to the OSHA Grain Facility Standard was implemented

Resources
Part 2 Radio Transmissions
Part 3

Posted via web from ComDust

Chadron, Nebraska Grain Elevator Catches Fire

The Chadron grain elevator is one of 19 that the company operates in five states. These facilities must adhere to the OSHA Grain Facility Standard in the prevention of fires and explosions. No matter how many layers of protection are instituted only the probability and severity can be minimized.

In the current OSHA Combustible Dust proposed rulemaking process, the agency intends to prevent all explosions and fires in the manufacturing sector. How can this be done when fuel loads and potential ignition sources are constantly present during the production process both in the grain industry and manufacturing sector?

Posted via web from ComDust

OSHA Combustible Dust Stakeholder Input-Grain Industry

The afternoon panel, which included the NGFA's Maness, consisted of a more balanced representation of NFPA and industry representatives.  Maness urged the agency not to adopt NFPA standards, in part because they are not subjected to economic impact studies before being approved.  He also noted that there are many elements in NFPA standards, such as facility design, construction and operational considerations, that are inappropriate, impractical or unachievable.

James E. Maness, president of JEM Safety Consultants, Rehoboth, Del. provided some very informative input concerning the possible OSHA regulatory approach to the proposed combustible dust rulemaking. The above excerpt is from the National Grain and Feed Association website, titled,"NGFA Participates in OSHA Combustible Dust Stakeholder Meeting (12/17/09)"

Posted via web from ComDust

 

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