News & Info
Learn more about combustible dust in these articles
written by Brad Carr, Founder and President of SonicAire.
Lint Control: Managed vs Engineered (Textile Services, November 2016)
Operators can reduce risks to staff and effectively control lint with advanced technology
Controlling fugitive lint continues to be of critical concern to textile services providers. Combustible lint poses a serious fire hazard. Anyone who’s witnessed the lightning speed at which lint can spread a fire throughout a plant via overhead joists can attest to the danger. Read More
New Regulatory Standards and Practical Solutions for Combustible Dust: What Grain Processors Need to Know (Milling and Grain Technology, November 2016)
Last month, I outlined the new regulations that grain processors needed to be aware of. This included the new NFPA 652 and OSHA initiatives.
This month I want to delve into the array of options available to control combustible dust. Grain processors need to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each before choosing the smartest approach. Read More
New Regulatory Standards and Practical Solutions for Combustible Dust: What Grain Processors Need to Know – Part 1 (Milling and Grain Technology, October 2016)
The risks from fugitive combustible dust continue to remain high for grain processors. Fugitive dust accumulates, forming a combustible cloud that results in explosions that destroy facilities and/or injure or kill employees. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated event. Read More
The End of Overhead Dust Problems (Wood BioEnergy, October 2016)
Wood bioenergy processors continue to remain on high alert dealing with the hazards of combustible dust. This is for good reason, since tragic accidents continue to haunt the industry, and regulatory agencies continue to audit and levy hefty fines for hazardous dust conditions. Read More
Despite Recent Inspections, Combustible Dust Kills
Two recent combustible dust explosions illustrate the fact that human diligence can only accomplish so much in ensuring safety from fugitive combustible dust buildup. A March 2016 wood mill incident in Canada, and a February 2016 feed mill incident in Georgia, USA, illustrate this reality. One of these explosions tragically resulted in a man losing his life. Read More
OSHA and Combustible Dust: Standards and Solutions (Powder and Bulk Solids, June 2015)
The risks of combustible dust are not new. But the dangers are still very real. Truth be told, the dangers can be dramatically reduced, if not virtually eliminated. However, there is a knowledge gap – either because of a lack of concern or a lot of confusion. Read More
The Four Myths About Combustible Dust
My goal is to make sure people understand the issues that surround combustible dust – and provide the smartest solutions for the problems that surface. Often there are many points of confusion. So I try to expose the facts.
ISHN magazine (Industrial Safety & Health News) published an article I’ve written entitled: “Cloud of Confusion: Top 5 Myths on Combustible Dust.” I chose this topic because there is so much misunderstanding on the facets of controlling combustible dust. Read More: Myth 1: All Combustible Dust Is Created Equal. Myth 2: You Can Capture 100% of Fugitive Dust. Myth 3: High Velocity Air Barriers Increase Risk of Developing Combustible Clouds. Myth 4: You Can’t Transform a Class II Hazardous Location into an Unclassified Location
What you need to know about NFPA 664
When you own or operate an industrial plant, one area that has to be addressed at all times is safety. It is vital to create and foster a safe work environment in which all employees, as well as anyone else in the plant, are protected from any potential hazards. Another reason why safety has to be a concern is for legal purposes.
All businesses need to be in compliance with rules set forth by OSHA, and there can be serious consequences if they are not. Plants that deal with possible flammable materials also have to be aware of standards created by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Read more
Options For a Zero-Tolerance Approach to Dust Accumulation (ISHN November 2013)
This is a direct quote from HR691: “Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act of 2013,” a bill introduced in Congress in February 2013. The goal of the bill: require the Secretary of Labor to issue an interim set of standards regulating the control of combustible dust and to finalize a permanent ruling within three years of the interim standard. What events led to this legislative push? Read More
Calculating the cost: is housekeeping the best way to reduce combustible dust risks? (ISHN March 2014)
There’s no way around it, combustible dust is costly. The highest cost comes when combustible dust is ignored: people die. To prevent that from occurring, Congress, OSHA and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have agreed on a set of regulations that must be enforced. The regulations are based on NFPA’s standards, with different NFPA publications focusing on the unique issues of a variety of industries, including Agriculture and Food Products, Metals, Wood Processing and Woodworking, Textile Care, Recycling, and Pulp and Paper. Read More
Five Myths About Combustible Dust (ISHN June 2014)
A cloud of confusion surrounds issues of fugitive dust and how to control it. This article debunks five myths, so we can all work smarter, not harder, to keep employees safe from combustible dust explosions and fires.
1 You can’t transform a Class II (Combustible Dust) Hazardous location into an Unclassified Location
According to NFPA 499: Recommended Practice for the Classification of Combustible Dust and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas, companies must keep dust levels continuously below 1/8 inch, or you have a Class II Hazardous location. I think we can all agree that 1/8 inch is basically a zero-tolerance stance since it’s roughly the size of two stacked nickels. Read More
Capture or continuous cleaning: It’s best to prevent dust from accumulating (From August 2014 ISHN Article by Brad Carr)
An engineered approach to combustible dust safety relies on technology to solve the problem of accumulated dust. There are two types of technology for this approach:
1. Localized filtration – captures the combustible dust by either vacuuming or suctioning.
2. Barrier technology – prevents combustible dust from accumulating on overhead structures with a robotic clean fan. Read More
Problem Solvers: John Rock Inc. installs SonicAire®2.0 fans (Pallet Enterprise, December 2013)
Fugitive dust can kill, so it can’t be allowed to accumulate. Is there an alternative to ongoing cleaning services to solve this problem? Problem: A pallet manufacturer needed a smarter way to prevent combustible dust from building up to comply with OSHA regulations and to keep employees safe. Read More
The Risks of Combustible Dust (Recycling Today, November 2012)
Combustible dust is dangerous. Since 1995, fugitive dust has caused at least nine explosions across North America, which have destroyed facilities and injured or killed employees. The dangers of combustible dust came to center stage in the U.S, however, in February 2008, when a tragic dust explosion occurred in a Georgia sugar plant, killing 13 and seriously injuring 60. Read More.
What’s missing from your combustible dust plan?(ISHN, November 2014)
With combustible dust issues, ignorance is not bliss; it is deadly. As Rafael Moure-Eraso, chairman of the United States Chemical Safety Board (CSB) stated in The New York Times (8.23.14), “Inaction could cost lives.” He cited that in the U.S. alone, CSB documented 50 combustible dust accidents from 2008-2012 that resulted in 29 fatalities and 161 injuries. This doesn’t have to continue at this pace. I believe we can do a better job. Read More
Milling and Grain Technology – July 2015
Milling and Grain Article – October 2015