Safety Zone Magazine January 2018 - Page 26

The Next Phase in Industrial Dust Explosion Protection Among its directives, NFPA 652 outlines deadlines for sampling and analysis to identify potential risk areas for dust explosions in industrial facilities. Spotlight now turns to mitigation equipment. For a wide range of facilities that manufacture, pro- gram of 2008, which is still in effect today. or particulate solids, new NFPA Standards and even decades, is doing the same with publication of NFPA cess, blend, convey, repackage, generate or handle items that could be categorized as combustible dusts the first deadline to conduct a dust hazard analysis are now on the books adding to the responsibilities of owners and operators of such facilities. Explosions can result from an ignition of a combustible gas, mist or dust when mixed with air during process- ing, handling or storage operations. A rapid rise in pressure occurs in the containing structure, and if it is not of adequate strength to withstand the pressure, extensive damage and injury to personnel can occur. After a string of incidents in the early 2000s, organiza- tions such as OSHA stepped up the requirements, as with the Combustible Dust National Emphasis Pro- 24 Safety Zone Magazine • January ‘18 The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), which has been issuing Standards and guidelines for 652 – Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust, in 2016. This new Standard consolidates best engineering practice and provides reference to all of the existing combustible dust standards in a single, overarching document that applies to all facilities that handle potentially explosive dusts. While the new Standard does an admirable job of unifying the various existing equipment and industry specific codes, NPFA 652 goes a step further by speci- fying – for the first time – a deadline for owners and operators of at-risk facilities to conduct a dust hazard analysis.