Combustible Dust Management

Combustible Dust Management

Tragedies in many industry sectors followed by the regulatory attention given to dust handling operations provide evidence that a better approach with higher emphasis on managing dust explosion hazards is necessary.

A crucial first step in understanding and evaluating the hazards present in facilities is to conduct an assessment of the facility. This assessment would include, but not be limited to:

  • an initial walk-through focusing on dust containment practices,
  • design of equipment safeguards (e.g., isolation),
  • existence of explosion protection,
  • grounding and bonding, and
  • appropriate electrical classification

The management systems evaluated will include those recommended by the 2006 Edition of NFPA 654, Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids.

Combustible Dust Process Hazard Analysis

Where a more comprehensive review of combustible dust process equipment is necessary (e.g., to meet the NFPA 654 performance standard) or desired (e.g., where a high level of combustible dust hazard exists), our PHA leaders will guide your team through a thorough, comprehensive PHA. We have pioneered many of the current techniques for conducting PHAs and understand the best use of these techniques, including preliminary or inherent hazard analysis, hazard and operability (HAZOP) studies, checklists and failure modes and effects analyses (FMEA). Our risk ranking methodology provides a basis for making risk-based decisions without the need for quantitative risk analysis. Our staff developed unit specific checklists that allow quick and accurate reviews of common dust handling equipment. Supplementing this with HAZOP style reviews assures a comprehensive analysis of both well-known equipment handling systems and plant-specific proprietary systems.

To increase the efficiency of our PHAs, we developed Process Safety Office™ PHAGlobal® component. This software allows any PHA to be readily documented and includes specific checklists addressing the common dust handling equipment currently in use.

Combustible Dust Characterization Testing and Analysis

Each dust compound has unique physical and chemical characteristics. A good understanding of both is essential to understand the hazards, and ultimately the risks, associated with the dust being handled. ioMosaic experts have assisted many clients with the development of a comprehensive testing plan appropriate for the handling operations being evaluated. By targeting their specific needs, overall testing costs are reduced and safety is improved. Our experts will work with you to determine the level of analysis that is required for your particular needs.

NFPA 654 Code Reviews

The most recent version of NFPA 654 requires facilities to take a more performance-based approach to understanding and managing these dust hazards. This standard is very similar to OSHA's earlier Process Safety Management standard and contains many of the same requirements. A few of the similar requirements are process hazard analysis, management of change, training, hot work and mechanical integrity. As pioneers in the field of process safety management, we can help you meet these requirements, adapting them to the unique requirements of dust handling operations.

OSHA National Emphasis Program Audit Preparation

The OSHA NEP is aimed at specific industry groups that have experienced either frequent combustible dust incidents or combustible dust incidents with catastrophic consequences. As a result of the fatal accident at Imperial Sugar, OSHA reissued its directive on the Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program to intensify its focus on combustible dust hazards. The industries included are:

  • Agriculture
  • Food Products
  • Chemicals
  • Textiles
  • Forest and furniture products
  • Metal processing
  • Tire and rubber manufacturing plants
  • Paper products
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Recycling operations
  • Some coal handling and processing facilities

Our process safety experts can help you understand the numerous codes and standards that will be referred to during audit, and can help you move into compliance.

Combustible Dust Training

We offer several training courses specifically applicable to Dust Handling operations. We can customize any of our existing courses or create specific courses to meet your needs. Click to see a list of training courses.

Engineering Design Protocols

ioMosaic has developed corporate standards for many organizations to assist with standardization of management systems, as well as safeguards for specific units. Often titled “Engineering Design Safeguards for Combustible Dust Hazards”, this tailored document will help all applicable operations apply the same principles, assuring consistency across a corporation.