No Dust – No Combust

Nina ConnerAgribusiness

Posted by Gina Ekstam, AssuredPartners

Dust explosions devastate companies with extended downtime, injury, and loss of life. On average, there are 31 dust explosions in the U.S. each year – and this number is on the rise. The agribusiness industry leads our nation with the highest percentage of fires by industry and by material.

Combustible dusts are finely divided solids that present flash fire and combustion hazards when oxygen, an ignition source, disbursement, and confinement are all present. The smaller the particle, the easier it is to ignite with flours, grains, hops, and sugars likely candidates for dust hazards.

The initial dust explosion normally stirs up accumulated dust creating a whole new fuel source and leading to a secondary explosion that is worse than the first.

Here’s a simple test to determine if your company has a dust issue: if you can write your name in the dust, you have a problem. If dust is accumulating in the air, you have a bigger problem.

The number one way to decrease your chances of a dust explosion is with proper dust collectors and suppression systems that remove the dust risk. Ongoing training, maintenance, and housekeeping are vital components to ensure your systems do their job.

A risk management visit can help quickly determine areas of concern and problems related to dust explosion hazards. Contact AssuredPartners Agribusiness to schedule yours.

Source: TÜV SÜD Global Risk Consultants, “Protect Against Combustible Dust Explosions & Fires”

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