fire appeared to start in the ceiling above one of the paper machines, likely from dust that somehow ignited
News accounts stated that the fire was in the ventilation system in the space between the tin roof and the ceiling. A little more than a year ago, the same area of the facility caught fire.
The paper sector is not listed in the OSHA Combustible Dust NEP as an industry that may have potential for combustible dust explosions or fires. In many instances combustible dust related fires throughout the manufacturing sector are precursors to potential combustible dust explosions.
Currently to much emphasis is being put on combustible dust explosions in the OSHA Combustible Dust Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. What about the combustible dust related fires? Address the fires and the probability of a dust explosions will be minimized. The most recent OSHA national news releases have stated that all the fatalities and injuries that have occurred since 1980 resulted solely from dust explosions. This is not true and has delineated from the results of the Chemical Safety Board's 2006 Combustible Dust Hazard Investigation, which includes fire and explosions. In 2008, over 80% of combustible dust incidents were fires. Continually ignoring the fires is charting a course into dangerous waters.