Combustible Dust & NFPA Consultation
Agricultural, Chemical, Grain, Plastics, Rubber, Tobacco and Wood are just a few of the industries and manufacturing processes that handle materials and ingredients that in a powder or dust form can be combustible and in the proper concentrations and environment pose the risk for fire or deflagration.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines combustible dust as "a solid material composed of distinct particles, regardless of size, shape, or composition, which presents a fire or deflagration hazard when suspended in air or other oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations".
A key challenge for these facilities is that combustible dust can be generated from many of the normal manufacturing processes that plants use to produce their product. These activities include: dust collection, pneumatic conveying, bucket elevators, storage tanks and silos, mixing, milling and grinding, cutting, sifting and screening or any other process where material is stored, moved or processed.
It is critical that a facility that handles these products thoroughly evaluates the risks and hazards so that a plan is developed to handle or mitigate those risks. One area we can assist our customers is by performing a dust hazards analysis or DHA. The dust hazards analysis is one of the critical requirements listed in NFPA 652 “Standards on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dusts” for a facility that manufactures, handles or processes combustible dusts. Below is a link to an article written by Jack Osborn P.E. at Airdusco Engineering & Design Services that provides some introductory information on the requirements for the dust hazards analysis.
To meet this challenge and increase our own abilities to help our customers, we are an active participant on NFPA committees and continuing education sessions. Our Senior Engineer sits on numerous NFPA committees that focus on combustible dusts including 61, 652, 654, 664 and Correlating Committee and another engineer is a NFPA Certified Fire Protection Specialist.
Our focus on combustible dusts in conjunction with over 100 years of combined dust collection and material handling system design experience makes us uniquely qualified to provide dust control and explosion protection solutions that meet today’s NFPA guidelines.
Member of five NFPA National Committees:
NFPA 61: Standard for the Prevention of Fires & Dust Explosions in Agricultural & Food Processing Facilities
NFPA 652: Standard on Combustible Dusts
NFPA 654: Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions in the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids
NFPA 664: Standard for the Prevention of Fires & Explosions in Wood Processing & Woodworking Facilities Correlating Committee