Good Housekeeping – Minimize Accumulation of Combustible Dust
Cleanliness in the workplace may be subjective among your employees. OSHA requires good housekeeping, as 29 CFR 1910.22 indicates, “All places of employment, passages, store rooms and service rooms shall be kept clean, orderly, and in a sanitary condition.”
However, if your organization contains combustible dust hazards, one of the best methods to avoid the potential for a combustible dust explosion is to enforce good housekeeping rules. This is not subjective. NFPA 654 warns that a dust layer >1/32 of an inch accumulated on surface areas of at least 5 percent of a room’s floor area presents a significant explosion hazard. The Chemical Safety Board found that the West Pharmaceutical explosion in Kinston, NC in 2003 was caused by dust accumulations primarily under ¼ inch.Materials that may form combustible dust include metals (such as aluminum and magnesium), wood, coal, plastics, biosolids, sugar, paper, soap, dried blood, and certain textiles. Since 1980, more than 130 workers have been killed and more than 780 injured in combustible dust explosions.
OSHA has not only identified a National Emphasis Program on combustible to educate employers of combustible dust hazards, it recently announced that an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be issued. Stay tuned for this regulatory agenda, and start evaluating your worksite for combustible dust hazards. Find more information here.
Finally, to all of you in the profession of protecting workers, happy North American Occupational Safety and Health week. Check out the safety posters created by children of members of the American Society of Safety Engineers!
From: NC State University Blog: